It proved to a be another challenging week for Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou following the sudden exit of the club’s chief executive Dominic McKay and the knee injury sustained by the mercurial Kyogo Furuhashi.
In light of the Hoops’ hard-fought 3-0 victory over Ross County on Saturday, Postecoglou will now look to put any lingering media speculation to bed ahead of a crucial spell of fixtures over the coming weeks.
The Australian head coach will lead his side into a run six games in the space of just 18 days and he will have to negotiate a hectic period without his Japanese superstar and top scorer who faces “three or four weeks” on the side-lines.
Postecoglou said: “He’s optimistic about working hard to get back. It is disappointing, it’s disappointing for him because he has obviously had a great start to his Celtic career and it is one of those things.
“We obviously wanted to keep it going and obviously help us as well but we understand it is part of football and these things will happen and we just have to get on with it.”
In Kyogo’s absence, Swiss striker Albian Ajeti was handed his big chance to impress against the struggling Staggies at Parkhead and he took his opportunity by scoring two goals.
Whether he has done enough to stake a claim for a starting place in Thursday night’s Europa League encounter with La Liga outfit Real Betis remains to be seen.
One thing is for sure, Postecoglou insists all his focus is centred on winning games rather than what is going on behind the scenes.
Speaking after Saturday’s match, Postecoglou played down any urgent need for conversations to be had with the club’s board following McKay’s departure.
He said: “No, I mean I don’t think I’ve ever said there isn’t any clarity, I don’t think I’ve ever said anything about a director of football.
Asked if he felt Celtic require a director of football, Postecoglou added: “Do I need one? I need to continue to build a football team that brings success to this great institution.
“What that entails we will deal with over the course of time. What I’ve never done in my whole time is do what other people suggest.
“I always do what I feel is the best for each individual situation.
“We’ve come through a really hectic period where I think getting a squad together has been the number one priority.
“Now we get an opportunity to organise a structure around it and if I feel changes need to be made we will make those changes.
“At no stage has the board got in the way, or anyone in this football club got in the way of me doing anything.”
What BBC Sportsound pundit Michael Stewart had to say:
BBC Sportsound pundit Michael Stewart believes Celtic appear “rudderless” without a director of football in place, insisting Ange Postecoglou needs someone to back him in order to create his vision.
Stewart admitted: “He needs help, he needs to get the structure, he needs to be able to have someone that he can confide and talk about how they are going to move the club forward.
“Without that leader off the park Celtic to a certain extent are a little bit rudderless. They need to get that position filled so that Ange Postecoglou and that man can build a relationship.”