Sead Haksabanovic in Celtic leadership vow as winger opens up on role with January transfer signings

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The Hoops winger has revealed the tactic that is helping new recruits integrate seamlessly into the Hoops squad.

Sead Haksabanovic knows all about what it’s like being the new recruit at a club after joining Celtic from Russian Premier League side Rubin Kazan last summer.

It is for that reason the Hoops winger has taken it upon himself to make January signings Yuki Kobayashi and Tomoki Iwata feel welcome and settled at Parkhead following their recent arrival from Japan.

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Manager Ange Postecoglou continues to assemble a multi-national squad in his quest for further silverware and Haksabanovic admits a light-hearted approach has ensured the language barrier isn’t posing any problems at their Lennoxtown training base.

Sead Haksabanovic is set to miss the clash with Rangers.  (Photo by Craig Williamson / SNS Group)Sead Haksabanovic is set to miss the clash with Rangers.  (Photo by Craig Williamson / SNS Group)
Sead Haksabanovic is set to miss the clash with Rangers. (Photo by Craig Williamson / SNS Group)

The Montenegro international has only been in Glasgow for a matter of months but has impressed supporters on several outings and reckons he is now well-positioned to help prepare the likes of Kobayashi and Iwata for what they will experience as a Celtic player moving forward.

He admitted: “I know what it is like so I am trying to make them feel comfortable and at home here. If there is anything they don’t understand in terms of what is happening in training, I will explain it. Things like that.

“It will be a big change for them, especially Yuki and Tomoki. So I try to speak to them and joke with them a bit when the moment arises. The main thing for new players is what happens on the pitch so it is in training and on the pitch that I will really try to help out as much as I can. I would say this group does mix well.

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“It doesn’t matter if you are Scottish or from Japan, we all share the same goal and do things together.”

Haksabanovic returned to competitive action as a late substitute in the Hoops’ 4-0 midweek victory over St Mirren following a calf injury and was given another 45 minutes during Saturday’s 5-0 Scottish Cup demolition of Greenock Morton.

Sead Haksabanovic of Celtic battles for possession with Jai Quitongo of Greenock MortonSead Haksabanovic of Celtic battles for possession with Jai Quitongo of Greenock Morton
Sead Haksabanovic of Celtic battles for possession with Jai Quitongo of Greenock Morton | Getty Images

Despite overcoming various fitness issues and niggles in recent weeks, the 23-year-old believes Celtic fans have yet to see the best of him. He stated: “It’s good to be back. You always want to be out there helping the team so it has felt like a long time for me. I am in here now and I know the players on and off the pitch, I know what the manager wants from us and from me and I am good with it all.

“I think we are strong together. So my focus is very much on doing the things I can do well as best as I can. If I do that then hopefully I can help the team to achieve its ambitions.”

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Celtic eased into the last-16 of the competition courtesy of braces from Kyogo Furuhashi and Aaron Mooy and David Turnbull’s long-range strike. Tomoki Iwata was handed his debut as a half-time substititute.

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