GIORGOS GIAKOUMAKIS hopes his Scottish Cup goal against Alloa can help to kickstart his Celtic career.

The Greek striker has had a slow start to his Hoops career since signing from VVV-Venlo last summer, but returned from knee surgery off the bench against Hibernian last Monday before being handed his first start since October 30 away to the Wasps.

Giakoumakis scored his second goal in green and white when he volleyed in a Liam Scales cross to give the Hoops the lead, with Liel Abada adding a second before the break.

And although striker Conor Sammon reduced the deficit for the League One part-timers in the second half, Celtic saw out the game and were rewarded with a home tie against Raith Rovers in the next round.

Giakoumakis is now looking to make further contributions to Ange Postecoglou’s side.

He told CelticTV: “It was really a rough time for me. I had to stay out, I had surgery but I am back.

“This is the most important thing for me, that I am back, healthy and fit and I can say the season starts for me from now.

“I will give my best in training, try to improve myself, try to be fit again, because if you stay out for a long time, you lose your confidence, your fitness, I will try to gain that back and help my team.

“Of course goals gives a lot of confidence to the strikers. It is our job mostly, to score goals and help the team win games.

“That is my job also and I will try to stay fit and score some goals.”

Celtic beat Championship side Raith Rovers 3-0 in the Premier Sports Cup quarter-final at Parkhead in September and Postecoglou, waiting to see the extent of the “significant and disappointing” facial injury sustained by captain Callum McGregor, is glad of another home tie.

He said: “I guess the key thing is it’s at home. We have seen how tricky it is irrespective of the opposition when you play away from home.

“So having it at home on our pitch with our supporters is certainly an advantage for us.”

First up, though, is a cinch Premiership clash against Hearts at Tynecastle on Wednesday night where Celtic will look to keep the pressure on Old Firm rivals Rangers who have a four-point lead at the top of the table.

The former Australia boss said: “Every game is going to be tough, every game is a challenge. We just have to keep doing what we have been doing.

“We are overcoming the challenges and we will have another one on Wednesday night but I am looking forward to it.”