Giorgos Giakoumakis admits he predicted scoring Celtic’s last-minute winner against St Johnstone at McDiarmid Park, even after conceding an equaliser in injury-time.
The Scottish champions appeared destined to drop another two points in the Premiership title race after Alex Mitchell’s dramatic leveller had cancelled out Andy Considine’s first-half own goal in Perth.
However, Greek striker Giakoumakis bundled home Alexandro Bernabei’s terrific cross from the left with virtually the last kick of the ball to spark wild scenes of celebration in the away end and salvage maximum points for Ange Postecoglou’s side.
The 27-year-old - starting his first league match of the season after finishing as top scorer last term - has been plagued by injury in recent weeks but hopes to make another telling contribution after claiming he always believed he would score in the dying seconds.
He said: “It was the best ending I could imagine. We believed we would score in the last moment. I don’t want to play the big guy now, but after we conceded the goal I was standing on the halfway line looking at the goalposts.
“I was imagining how it was going to be to score the last minute goal. I did it and I believed in that. Alexandro Bernabei made an amazing assist and that is how we won the game.
“I celebrated the goal a little bit more passionately than normal. I really needed that goal and I really need to start believing in myself a little bit more this season.
“That’s my first time in the first XI in the league this season and it hasn’t been good for me. When you don’t play it’s not that easy. I know I am not there yet but the more I play, the more I can provide goals and assists. Hopefully I will get some more minutes and show myself again.”
Celtic were not firing on all cylinders against Saints, with a notable drop in intensity amid a busy fixture schedule, but manager Ange Postecoglou reckons his side will need to show more character and continue to grind out results throughout the campaign.
He told BBC Scotland: “Through the course of the year, there are times where you have to show that (character). Not every game is going to run smooth, it won’t always go your way.
“There are times we had to do that last year and it’s good to know it’s still there this year because we’re going to need it. We got a bit sloppy towards the end but I don’t think the performance was that bad. Up until the final third, we were really good.
“It’s a game we should have put to bed a lot earlier. We had chances to do that. The good thing is we showed the character we needed to get the result.”