Ange on Giakoumakis, and his character typifying Celtic’s resilience | OneFootball

Ange on Giakoumakis, and his character typifying Celtic’s resilience

Logo: The Celtic Star

The Celtic Star

As Celtic defeated Hearts last night, they showed both sides of the game a title winning team needs, character and skill. And Ange Postecoglou, as reported by Daily Record, reckons the mental strength shown by Giorgos Giakoumakis who performed admirably and scored a vital second goal for Celtic last night, after an injury hit start to his career and criticism for a penalty miss against Livingston, is an example of the strong mentality running through this entire Celtic team.

“That’s what I mean about character and mentality. He [Giakoumakis] is another one who had a tough first half of the year for sure. He worked hard to get himself fit during the little break we had. We gave the guys a few days off, but he kept going along with James [Forrest] and Chris Jullien to be ready and I thought he was great. “He scored not just a great goal, but worked awfully hard and he had to because unfortunately at the moment we don’t have somebody to give him a bit of a breather towards the end of the game. He is showing people why I brought him. He has a presence about him and in the box he can score goals. That’s his strength. “It’s a testament to his character. I said after he missed the penalty against Livingston that that’s the burden you carry being the No.9 here at Celtic. You are expected to be here for the big moments and score goals and that’s what he wants. He didn’t shy away after that happened, worked hard to get himself fit and be ready. “I’m very proud of the players, we had a bit of a challenge, it’s not an easy place. It’s probably the one thing that is probably a little bit underestimated in this team, they are just a really resilient group of players. There were plenty of reasons for them to have excuses, but I thought with the changes we had to make our football was still great. “We could have finished the game off earlier, we had some good chances, but once they got the goal obviously the crowd got behind them. I still thought that we handled it really well. If you chart the course of this team from the first time we were here, we haven’t really had a smooth run to be honest, but I don’t mind because it builds resilience and reveals character.”

Postecoglou is quite right, what happened against Livingston is the burden you carry as the focal point of a Celtic attack, but since managing to get a mini pre-season under his belt while others took a winter break breather, Giorgos Giakoumakis has hit the ground running with goals in his last two games and last night an all-round striker’s performance he should be proud of.

With injuries mounting up in attacking areas, Giakoumakis simply had to step up. So far, he’s done exactly that, and with it has probably exceeded the expectations of many supporters.

His goal was a real touch of class and a beautifully improvised finish that only genuine goalscorers can pull off under pressure, yet he also did the dirty work, holding the ball up well, feeding his teammates and taking -and giving – some punishment along the way.

While others were recharging their batteries, Giakoumakis saw an opportunity to get up to speed during the winter break and it is that strong mentality that is holding him in good stead, now that circumstances have offered him a chance to prove himself.

It may be early days but there is no doubt Giorgos Giakoumakis willingness to put in the work during the winter break is paying dividends on the pitch, and although the weight of being Celtic’s man can indeed be the burden Ange Postecoglou talks of, it can also make a hero of some, and over the next few games Giakoumakis has that opportunity. Two goals in two games indicates he’s well on his way to finding out.

Niall J

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