ANGE POSTECOGLOU still expects Giorgos Giakoumakis to be a Celtic player by this weekend, saying he isn’t ‘playing ducks and drakes’ in his handling of the striker’s future.

Giakoumakis wasn’t included in the Celtic squad for their 4-0 win over St Mirren at Celtic Park last night, but Postecoglou explained his absence was down to a genuine injury he had picked up in the League Cup semi-final at the weekend.

The Celtic manager insisted he wasn’t playing games over the striker’s situation, and when asked if he expects Giakoumakis to be back in his squad for the Scottish Cup tie against Morton this Saturday, Postecoglou said: “I see no reason why not.

“I just deal with what is in front of me, and until I’m told otherwise or something significant happens…

“He was here tonight mate, so you could have asked him yourself! He’s still very much part of our set-up, I’m not playing ducks and drakes. He would have been involved tonight if he wasn’t injured.

“Giakoumakis and (Cameron) Carter-Vickers pulled up sore from the weekend. At a stretch, Giako might be available for Saturday.

“Cam probably will be, but we’ll probably still rest him for Saturday even though it’s nothing significant.”

Postecoglou also expects Alexandro Bernabei to return to the fold by the weekend, with Josip Juranovic slotting in at left-back last night.

“Berna, I just thought I’d rest him tonight because he’s had two big games,” he said. “He’ll be back in on Saturday.”

January arrival Yuki Kobayashi was handed a full debut by Postecoglou against St Mirren due to the absence of Carter-Vickers, and Postecoglou was pleased with his showing.

“He was good,” he said. “It’s not easy. He is still adjusting to the football here, the life here.

“They are a big strong, physical team, very direct. They launched some balls in the box so we had to deal with that side of the game, which I thought he did quite well.

“I thought he was really good on the ball, really composed. He will get better from that, but as an introduction, a first game, I thought he was good.

"I thought we were good [overall], really strong in all aspects of our game.

"We started the game well but, with their long throws, they have the ability to get the ball in the box without really advancing too far up the pitch. So we had to deal with some balls in the box, which I thought we handled well.

"Aside from that, I thought our football was really good. Our goals were outstanding. And there were some great moves that didn’t end up in goals. It was a really strong all-round performance."