5 things we saw in Celtic training as the transfer-linked star remains and Reo Hatate is Sunday’s league staple


It’s a big week for Celtic and Ange Postecoglou as they could take a big step towards the Scottish title.

But it could just as easily fall apart as the buildup to derby day continues.

Firstly, there is a home clash against Dundee United to negotiate and the Terrors are not to be underestimated.

They returned in pursuit of the top six and snapped a seven-game league winless streak when Nicky Clark pounced on Ross County in added time.

Despite international absences and numerous injuries, the Celtic team has the feel-good factor. Not surprising given how much they’ve endured in the last six months, only to get a chance to cut the game between them and the Rangers down to a single point next week.

This is what we noticed from an upbeat session in Lennoxtown.

Gia smiling

Giorgos Giakoumakis

And with good reason. Giorgos Giakoumakis has two goals in a week and is hitting a point of form at just the right time for Celtic.

He has shown flashes from the start, but against Hearts the burly Greek was a constant nuisance and manhandled the back three who are rarely attacked by even the best strikers in the league.

Now the number 7 can continue his scoring journey against Dundee United before he is entrusted with one of the biggest derbies this city has seen in quite some time.

Adam is still about

Adam Montgomery during a Celtic training session

News broke earlier this week that Adam Montgomery was close to being loaned out but was still training with Celtic’s first team until Friday afternoon.

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Derek McInnes’ Kilmarnock is behind him and you think that would be a good move, especially if he has a lot of playing time.

The experience of fighting for a title in the SPFL’s tightest division would serve Montgomery well.

But it remains to be seen if he, or perhaps the young Owen Moffat alongside him in this add-on, makes it out before the January 31 deadline.

JJ’s trademark

Every dressing room needs a prankster and rarely does a Lennoxtown session go by without cheeky Josip Juranovic flashing the camera a big smile.

Whether he’s calling Tom Rogic ‘Messi’ or letting Joe Hart in on his dastardly scheme for Panenka, the other goalkeeper, the right-back is a great character.

The brand’s wide-brimmed hat was out again on Friday, but next week is no laughing matter.

Recruited in time for the first derby of this season, Juranovic will not want to taste defeat again and this time he will be on his favorite right side, battling it out with Ibrox winger Ryan Kent.


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the wait continues

Christopher Jullien has yet to mark his return with an appearance.

But for how much longer, Christopher Jullien is ready to make his big comeback.

Could it be fate or tempting fate that could come in the same game this weekend that began 13 months of injuries from hell?

Giving one of Carl Starfelt or Cameron Carter-Vickers a break may be appealing with such a crucial game looming midweek, but it’s hard to get center backs back after so much time out.

Strictly Mizness

Reo Hatate

Celtic Park has a new favorite and who knows what else the feet inside those shiny Mizuno boots are capable of.

They may have a bit of a Sunday league reputation here, but the Japanese brand was more Champions League when Reo Hatate hit his 30-yard shot at Tynecastle.

The midfielder oozed quality in both of his games against Edinburgh rivals after an action-packed performance against Hibs as the Premiership returned.

Hatate might note that he’s already a popular figure, but he’d be entering a new stratosphere if he pulled off a similar hit on Wednesday night.


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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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