Celtic boss praises fit-again Carl Starfelt as defender marks injury return with first goal for club

The Swedish international scrambled home at the back post during the Hoops’ 5-0 victory over Kilmarnock.

Watch more of our videos on Shots!
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now

Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou praised Carl Starfelt’s ‘ugly’ first goal for the club during their 5-0 demolition of Kilmarnock at the weekend.

The Swedish defender celebrated his return from a two-month injury lay-off to score his debut goal for the regining Premiership champions as the blitzed the Ayrshire side at Rugby Park.

Starfelt missed the majority of pre-season training after sustaining a serious hamstring problem on international duty in June.

However, the 27-year-old enjoyed a moment to cherish as he bundled home the fourth goal after coming on as a second half substitute for Mortiz Jenz.

Postecoglou was delighted by the spread of goals from his side during a clinical display and hailed Starfelt’s scrappy goal at the second attempt at the far post from a Matt O’Riley set-piece.

He said: “I’m really pleased for him to get a goal as he has been trying really hard. It was probably the ugliest of the five but probably the most signifcant!

”Carl has worked really hard to get himself back to a position where he is available again. Credit to him, he is a really good pro. He comes in every day and works really hard in training and he’s a really strong team-mate.

“We want to have multiple threats, it’s not about one person being the focal point of our scoring opportunities and avenues. We are getting centre-backs chipping in which is also good.

Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou after 5-0 win over Kilmarnock at Rugby Park (Photo by Craig Williamson / SNS Group)Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou after 5-0 win over Kilmarnock at Rugby Park (Photo by Craig Williamson / SNS Group)
Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou after 5-0 win over Kilmarnock at Rugby Park (Photo by Craig Williamson / SNS Group)

“We just want to be a team that can hurt teams in many different ways. I thought the quality of our goals were excellent and the quality of our general play attacking-wise was good.”

Starfelt’s long-awaited appearance came after an injury sustained by Jenz on the artificial pitch but Postecoglou believes it does not appear to be a long-term concern.

He confirmed: “I think he is okay. I’m not sure what the issue was. He was feeling something but we had a look after the game and he seemed okay. It doesn’t seem like anything serious.”

Giorgos Giakoumakis also came off the bench to score, while Liel Abada impressed as a late susbtitute and Postecoglou reckons utilising the depth of his squad is vital.

He added: “I think is important. Not just for these games but I think going forward.

“At the moment we have this luxury of a game a week and we are trying to compensate for that by working really hard in training and credit to the players, the training levels are really high.

“So the guys who come on they don’t look like they haven’t been playing. They are in a group straight away and make an impact which is great.

“Look, they all want to play at the moment, they are all itching to start games and their training merits them starting but I am kind of holding back the tide at the moment because I know once the games start they will all get an opportunity.

“What’s important for us is that when they do get to play they can contribute.”

Related topics: