Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou hails Giorgios Giakoumakis's 'strength of character' after Hearts strike

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Celtic striker Giorgios Giakoumakis, left,  and manager Ange Postecoglou at Tynecastle on Wednesday night
Celtic striker Giorgios Giakoumakis, left, and manager Ange Postecoglou at Tynecastle on Wednesday night

ANGE Postecoglou has hailed Giorgios Giakoumakis’s strength of character after watching the Celtic striker score twice in two starts since returning from an injury lay-off.

Giakoumakis, who was signed from Dutch club VVV-Venlo for £2.5m back in August, endured a difficult start to his Parkhead career.

The Greek internationalist struggled with injuries and took nearly a month to make his debut, missed a late penalty in a draw against Livingston and then needed to undergo surgery on a knee problem.

But Postecoglou, who praised his charges’ resilience after their 2-1 triumph over Hearts in a cinch Premiership game at Tynecastle on Wednesday night, this the forward is getting back to his best.

The man who was the top scorer in the Eredivsie last season netted just once in his first nine appearances in Scotland - in a 2-0 triumph over St Johnstone at Celtic Park back in October.

But he opened the scoring in the Scottish Cup triumph over Alloa at the Indodrill Stadium on Saturday and got his name on the scoresheet again in midweek.

“He is another one who had a tough first half of the year for sure,” said Postecoglou. “But that’s what I mean about character and mentality. 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 against Hearts.

“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.

“But I think he is showing people why I brought him to the football club. He has a presence about him and in the box he can score goals. That’s his strength.”

He added: “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 No9 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 and I thought he led the line superbly.”

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