Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou delighted to see both strikers in form

Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou was delighted to see his two strikers score again and promised Giorgos Giakoumakis that his chance to start would come.

Substitute Giakoumakis scored his second goal in four substitute appearances this season to wrap up a 2-0 stoppage-time win over Hearts that sent Celtic within two points of Rangers in the English league.

Kyogo Furuhashi has been given the go-ahead for the centre-forward role every time and scored his third goal of the season to open the scoring in the 13th minute.

Postecoglou said: “I enjoy them wherever they come from, but it’s great that they both achieved their goals. Both are working hard in training, both are quality strikers.

“Some of our serves weren’t good today in the final third, but we know if we get the ball into those areas, they’re both very good finishers and have a real presence in the box in different ways, different styles.”

Giakoumakis shows no signs of frustration at his current role as a substitute: in addition to his goal and another shot saved late, he ran 30 yards to win the ball from Barrie McKay deep in his own half.

“They are non-negotiable for our football club,” Postecoglou said. “That’s the team we want to be and the guys have embraced it. Whether they’re just starting out or not, they know that’s what they need to bring.

“I have two real quality strikers who deserve to start, but I know what’s coming and they’ll both get plenty of playing time.

“The important thing is that they both feel good about themselves, they’re both scoring goals, which is great, and we’re going to need them both.”

Although Hearts didn’t get a shot on goal, he had some decent possession spells and was never under the mail.

About the game, Postecoglou said: “It was okay, it probably didn’t flow as freely as I would like a football game to be.

“It seemed like there was a lot of stopping and starting and not a lot of steady pace in the game. Some of it was our doing, but just one of those games where it just didn’t feel like we could open up and play our football.

“But the players kept their discipline and got a good win. We just had to fight our way through it and we did. I don’t think Joe (Hart) really had to make a save.”

Hearts manager Robbie Neilson was frustrated that both Alex Cochrane and Toby Sibbick received second yellow cards in the latter stages as his team finished with nine men.

Neilson, who saw three other players booked by Kevin Clancy, said: “When you come here you need strong referees and if you don’t get it it can be tough sometimes.

“We made 11 fouls and got two red cards and five yellow cards. Celtic committed 12 fouls and got nothing.

“That’s the difficulty when you come to Glasgow, you need that strength, and I don’t think we had that.”

Neilson made seven changes to his starting XI with the Europa League play-off second leg against Zurich in mind.

“I was very proud of the players,” he said. “We made a number of changes and it showed the strength of the team that the guys came in and matched Celtic for long periods and created a number of chances.

“If it wasn’t for two red cards, we potentially could have taken something from the game.”

Craig Gordon and Stephen Kingsley will recover quickly from the minor injuries that kept them out, but Craig Halkett will miss Thursday’s European match with a hamstring injury.

“It’s just short term, but I don’t think Thursday will come,” Neilson said. “Maybe it will be another week after that potentially.”