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Celtic forward hoping to strike again while the iron is hot

Teemu Pukki has been revived by a scoring touch.

It was not a miracle in the east but rather a consequence of a goal in the opening match of the Turkish Airlines Antalya Cup against Trabzonspor which has restored confidence in an ability which has seemed shy at Celtic so far. Pukki is a quiet figure but he intends to make a greater racket at the Scottish champions in the second half of the season.

The Finn made himself heard in Turkey earlier this week, scoring the first goal of a victory which has put Celtic into tomorrow's final where they will meet Galatasary. The Turkish side defeated Ajax last night.

Pukki had only scored three times in 21 competitive matches since arriving from Schalke in August and is confident of a greater return this year. "It was good to get some game-time for the players who haven't played so much," said the Finn, whose goal was later added to by Amido Balde.

"It gives me my confidence back after a few games when I haven't scored. It's always good to score and I hope now that I can continue that in the future."

He had thumped a shot into the net in the first half against Trabzonspor but also gave manager Neil Lennon a tap on the shoulder as Celtic continue to search for new strikers this month. The Parkhead club have been linked strongly with a £2m bid for Stefan Johansen, the Stromsgodset striker, with the Norwegian club yesterday confirming that they have made moves to bring in a replacement.

Johansen is also a target for other clubs in Europe, of course, and Celtic face a challenge to add the Falkirk youngster Stephen Kingsley, too. The 19-year-old - who is rated at £500,000 - has also drawn interest from Barclays Premier League club Everton. It is understood that a representative from the Goodison Park side will attend Falkirk's match with Hamilton Academical today. "We cannot stop interest in our best players," said Alex Smith, the Falkirk technical director, who is also aware that clubs in England are tracking Jay Fulton, Craig Sibbald and Conor McGrandles.

There is interest in Mo Bangura, too, with Celtic understood to be willing to send the out-of-favour striker out on loan again this month. Henrik Larsson - the former Celtic striker who is now manager of the Swedish side Falkenberg - had been keen to add Bangura to his squad during the transfer window, although the Sierre Leone player's agent has dismissed any notion that his client is on the move.

"I know it's been spring weather today, but it's not April 1st yet," said Patrick Mork, Bangura's agent. "Falkenberg is not an option for him."

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