Celtic boss Ange Postecoglou admits hamstring injury suffered by star man Kyogo Furuhashi ‘is not good’ but blames use of forward in Europa League dead rubber win against Real Betis on ‘ridiculous’ run of fixtures
- Celtic had already been confirmed to finish third in their Europa League group
- But Kyogo Furuhashi was still forced to play in their 3-2 win over Real Betis
- Forward came on to replace Albian Ajeti who also suffered a hamstring injury
- Furuhashi then went down holding his right hamstring with 20 minutes left
Ange Postecoglou has admitted to serious concern after risking Kyogo Furuhashi in a meaningless Europa League win over Real Betis — only to see the star forward limp off with a potentially disastrous hamstring injury.
And he blamed a ‘ridiculous’ fixture list for the fitness problems leaving him with a major striker crisis.
Furuhashi was thrown on when Albian Ajeti pulled up with a hamstring injury after just 27 minutes of an eventful dead rubber that ended in a 3-2 victory for the hosts.
Kyogo Furuhashi suffered an injury 20 minutes from the end of Celtic’s win over Real Betis
The star forward walks past manager Ange Postcoglou during the 3-2 Europa League win
But the Japanese international then went down holding his right hamstring after a sliding challenge with less than 20 minutes of the game remaining.
Although the fans’ favourite was the only fit forward on the bench, many were left wondering why Postecoglou hadn’t improvised a change — and protected his team’s most dangerous player.
Postecoglou admitted he hadn’t intended to throw his top goal threat into the fray so early. And, asked about the extent of the injury, he admitted: ‘Yeah, it’s not good. We’ll just wait and see what the assessment is.
Postecoglou fears the hamstring injury suffered could be a bad one after risking the forward
Furuhashi only came on following an injury to Albian Ajeti earlier in the European dead rubber
‘Obviously we were prepared to give Kyogo a bit less time tonight but with Albian also getting a hamstring, we’re just going through a bit of a rough trot which never seems to end. But we’ll cope.
‘We’ve got a few injuries. But the amount of games we’re playing, it’s just ridiculous, to be fair.
‘We don’t have the squad to cope with that at the moment. Luckily tonight we got some 90 minutes into players who will help us moving forward.’
With eight games crammed into the fixture list between now and the winter break, including the Premier Sports Cup Final and the New Year clash with Rangers at Celtic Park, the potential loss of Furuhashi for any length of time would be a major blow.
Postecoglou is now rueing his injury list ahead of a congested run of fixtures
Celtic ran out 3-2 winners in the Europa League win but still finished third in the group
Greek forward Giorgios Giakoumakis is out with a knee injury, while Portuguese winger Jota — who can play through the middle — is certain to miss the Hampden final against Hibs with a hamstring strain.
The decision to gamble Furuhashi in a dead rubber drew baffled anger from pundits, with former Celtic striker Chris Sutton tweeting: ‘Gutsy win for Celtic. Brilliant effort and desire.
‘Kyogo wasn’t worth the risk, though. Huge month ahead. The squad is light. The support need him to get Ange Postecoglou and the team through the next few weeks until January.’
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