CELTIC’S hopes of completing their fifth clean sweep of domestic silverware in six years remain alive following their narrow 2-1 win over part-time Alloa in the Scottish Cup at the Indodrill Stadium on Saturday night.

But it was another kind of treble which was of far more concern to manager Postecoglou in the aftermath of the hard-fought fourth round triumph – the injuries which Callum McGregor, Liel Abada and Yosuke Ideguchi suffered.

Postecoglou is set to be without both new signing Daizen Maeda and Tom Rogic in the Parkhead club’s forthcoming fixtures after the striker and the playmaker were called up by Japan and Australia respectively for their World Cup qualifiers.

So the triple injury blow was the last thing which the Greek-Australia coach, whose men will attempt to keep the pressure on Rangers up in the cinch Premiership when they play Hearts at Tynecastle on Wednesday night, needed.

So how are Celtic looking after events in Clackmannanshire at the weekend? Did their progress to the fifth round come at a cost? Here are five things we learned. 



Not having Kyogo Furuhashi, who is sidelined with a hamstring injury, and Maeda, who will be away on international duty, in the coming days is far from ideal for Postecoglou.

However, Giorgios Giakoumakis, who opened the scoring against Alloa in the first-half when he got on the end of a Liam Scales cross from the left flank and volleyed beyond David Hutton, showed he is a more than adequate replacement.

The 27-year-old, a £2.5m signing from Dutch club VVV-Venlo back in August, worked hard to get himself fully fit during the winter shutdown. He underlined on Saturday that he has fully recovered from the knee surgery he underwent last year. He produced an assured all-round display.

The Greek internationalist has endured a frustrating five months in Scotland. But he is eager to put his difficult start behind him and add to his tally in the second-half of the 2021/22 campaign. If he continues to perform as well going forward then Furuhashi and Maeda will not be missed.



Postecoglou was forced to turn to inexperienced kids like Dane Murray, Owen Moffat and Joey Dawson to plug the gaps in his side at times in the first half of the season and Celtic’s performances and results often fell short of what is required as a result.

Against Alloa, though, he was able to throw on James McCarthy, Nir Bitton and Jota when McGregor, Abada and Ideguchi limped off. Greg Taylor, Josip Juranovic, Reo Hatate and James Forrest, too, all remained on the bench.

Elsewhere, Christopher Jullien, the French centre half who has been sidelined for over a year, was named among the replacements for the first time this term. And Cameron Carter-Vickers was rested.

Postecoglou is hopeful that Abada, who scored a stunning goal in added on time at the end of the opening 45 minutes, and Ideguchi, who worked hard during his time on the park, will not be out long-term.

Not having captain McGregor available is undoubtedly a blow for the Glasgow giants. Still, the Premier Sports Cup winners now have the strength in depth they need to negotiate a hectic schedule of fixtures at home and abroad and land more silverware.



The former Yokohama F Marinos forward enjoyed a dream debut for Celtic in the Premiership match against Hibernian at Parkhead last Monday night when he netted after just four minutes.

But the 24-year-old contributed, despite working hard during his time on the park, little else. That was not the case against Alloa. He was deployed on the left of the three-quarter line in a 4-2-3-1 formation and impressed greatly.

He worked tirelessly from kick-off to the final whistle, got himself in good positions and switched sides with his fellow wide man Abada to good effect. He did not get on the scoresheet. But his lively performance in his second outing augurs well for his new club. 



Joe Hart denied Conor Sammon an equaliser in the first-half with a superb block. If the former England keeper had not shown such quick reactions the final outcome may well have been quite different. He also attempted to restore order in the second by coming out of his box and have a quiet word with Mouhamed Niang in the centre circle when tensions were running high.

But when he has the ball at his feet Hart still looks vulnerable. He sliced one attempted clearance out of the park for a throw-in when the home team were pushing for a leveller late on and applying concerted pressure.

Most managers in the modern game want their team to build play patiently from the back rather than hoof the ball upfield. But the latter may be a better option for their goalie at times.



Alloa have struggled for form and results since Barry Ferguson was appointed manager in the summer; they are currently in eighth place in League 1 having won just five of their 21 third tier fixtures.

But the part-time outfit can take great heart from their showing against Celtic. Ferguson, the former Rangers and Scotland midfielder, set up his side to play defensively and attack on the counter. His game plan worked.

They limited the number of chances the away side created, carved out a number of good scoring opportunities and gave themselves a chance to force extra-time when Sammon netted with 15 minutes remaining. If they can play as well in the months ahead they will climb up the table.