Chris Sutton reckons Celtic are in for a “tough couple of weeks” after manager Ange Postecoglou saw his injury troubles mount after summer signing Giorgos Giakoumakis became the latest name to face a spell on the side lines.
Postecoglou was set to hand the Greek striker his long-awaited debut after naming him in the matchday squad for the first time during last night’s 3-0 Premier Sports Cup quarter-final win against Raith Rovers at Parkhead.
However, he was notified of the player’s absence at half-time as he prepared to make substitutions, revealing in his post-match interview the 26-year-old had been sent for a scan after suffering a calf injury in the warm-up.
“I don’t know what it is mate, I must have walked under a ladder,” stated the Australian head coach as he cursed his luck.
“We’ve sent him off for a scan, so we’ll just wait and see.
“I haven’t spoken to him and I only found out about it at half-time when I was looking to make some changes.
“He’ll be disappointed and frustrated because he’s really keen to get his career going, but we didn’t sign him for two months.
“We signed him for a significant amount of time and we want him to have a good career here.
“It’s just one of those things. It’s been really unsettled, having players coming in when we have games on.
“We’ve tried to be careful with him and a few others but such is our predicament. He’s just got to be positive.
“There’s something looming over me at the moment, just to challenge me every day. We’ll just have to cope with that.”
It means Giakoumakis, the £2.5m signing from Dutch outfit VVV-Venlo, will need to wait a while longer to pull on the Hoops jersey as he joins Callum McGregor, Kyoyo Furuhashi, Greg Taylor, Christopher Jullien and James Forrest on the club’s treatment table.
With Celtic currently in the middle of a hectic fixture schedule ahead of games against Dundee United, Bayern Leverkusen and Aberdeen to come over the next week, it is another major setback that Postecoglou, with former Hoops striker Sutton admitting it leaves them very short on numbers.
Speaking on Premier Sports last night, he said “It is a massive, massive blow. Celtic have got enough injuries.
“They signed a goalscorer. Odsonne Edouard has gone down south now and Celtic are struggling for players.
“You need players on the Celtic bench who can come on and make an impact. It is just not there.
“It’s going to be a tough couple of weeks for Celtic. They are severely stretched.”
Goals from Jota, Liel Abada and David Turnbull saw the Hoops cruise past Raith to set up a Hampden semi-final showdown with Cup holders St Johnstone.
However, Giakoumakis’ injury leaves Celtic with just Albian Ajeti, who was taking off as a precaution last night, as the club’s only recognised out-and-out striker.