Celtic boss Ange Postecoglou isn’t surprised that Josip Juranovic is being noticed following his performances at the World Cup.
Juranovic starred for Croatia up against the best in the game as his side reached the semi-finals before being beaten by a Lionel Messi-inspired Argentina.
While Croatia are preparing for the third-place play-off against Morocco, Juranovic has picked up an injury that may see him miss the game. Regardless, his contributions have been significant and have seen him linked with a January move with big clubs said to have been watching him with interest.
Postecoglou has been impressed with his player’s displays in Qatar and says he’s happy if others are noting how good Celtic players are.
He said: “It is great that he is getting noticed. I want our players to get noticed.
“If they weren’t getting noticed they wouldn’t be doing well – so he has done really well.
“He has represented his country and club really well and had some strong performances against world-class opponents.”
Asked about the speculation regarding the player’s future, the manager alluded to a moment earlier in the day when he was photographed helping a driver stuck in the snow.
“You started with an ‘if’ and I will give you an ‘if’ back,” he said. “If it stops snowing then I will be able to drive home without getting out my car so that will be fine too.
“My understanding is that he is probably not going to play tomorrow but at the same time, I don’t think it is anything serious.
“We will give him a week off anyway, we have done that with all the World Cup lads and hopefully he is right to go when he gets back.”
Celtic are back in action on Saturday when they face Aberdeen at Pittodrie and will be boosted by the return of Callum McGregor after he completed his rehabilitation from injury during the break.
The manager said that his captain’s absence had been felt but that others had shown their value by stepping up to help replace him.
Postecoglou said: “Callum is good and ready to go. It’s great to have him back.
“To be fair to the lads, they have carried his absence really well, that was one of our challenges.
“When you lose such an influential figure on and off the field, how do you cover that absence in both areas?
“The boys stepped up. On the field the likes of Matt O’Riley, Reo Hatate, Aaron Mooy and David Turnbull, they put in a real shift to cover his absence and off the field in terms of leadership, guys like Joe (Hart) and Cameron Carter-Vickers stood up.
“But there is no doubt it is great to have him back. He is a major influence in and around our football club and our team and that will definitely make us stronger.
“Not just his experience. He is our captain and leader and a top footballer.
“Every time you get a player like that back after an absence, the whole group feels good about it and I am sure he is looking to hit the ground running.
“He has worked really hard at training in the last couple of weeks to get himself back up to speed and looking forward to having him back in the team and no doubt he will make us stronger.”