GIORGIOS Giakoumakis has criticised Alloa for the “dangerous” play that “crossed the line” and resulted in three of his Celtic team mates suffering injuries in the Scottish Cup fourth round tie at the Indodrill Stadium on Saturday night.

But the Greek striker, who opened the scoring in his side’s 2-1 victory, has expressed confidence the Parkhead club can cope if captain Callum McGregor is ruled out of the cinch Premiership match against Rangers on Wednesday week.

McGregor left the field in the first-half of the Alloa game after suffering a head knock that manager Ange Postecoglou later described as “significant” and Liel Abada and new signing Yosuke Ideguchi also failed to last the 90 minutes.

Giakoumakis, who was making his first start since recovering from a long-term injury, admitted that he was unhappy about Alloa’s physical approach to the fixture.  

“The game against Alloa was out of the limit,” he said. “It was too dangerous, the duels, the markings. We had to get through it and take the win and, if it was possible, stay away from harm. We didn’t achieve that part.
“I can say that the opponent didn’t have the quality that we do. It’s normal with all the respect. They had to try to run more than us and be more aggressive in the duels. Sometimes they crossed the line and the markings were a little bit more tough.
“We should take care of ourselves too. I don’t want to speak about the referees. I will never speak about the referees. It’s our job in the lines and in the end we’re really happy that we won and we’re in the next round.”
Giakoumakis added: “I have to wish him (McGregor) the best of luck for a speedy recovery. He’s a leader for us. Maybe it’s something serious. We’ll miss him a lot, he’s a key player for us and I hope he will return as soon as possible.
“But we have the depth in our team and our squad. Everyone can be in the first 11. That’s very important at a club that has big goals.”

The 27-year-old, a £2.5 million signing from Dutch club VVV-Venlo back in August, was pleased to score the second goal of his Celtic career and admitted he wants to establish himself as the Parkhead club’s first choice striker in the second half of the 2021/22 campaign. 

“I’m very happy I got the goal,” he said. “I’m back after a long time and the most important thing for me is I’m fit, I’m healthy and I helped my teammates and my team to get into the next round. Also, from now on I start my season. I hope I can be healthy until the end.
“That was my goal since I started here. I try to push a lot. I missed pre-season, I didn’t have a pre-season. After that I had surgery on my injured knee, but now I’m back, I’m fit, healthy and I’m really happy for that. If I’m fit and healthy I will be the one.
“I’m not happy about that (scoring twice in three starts). It could have been three starts three goals but I missed the penalty. It’s something that’s really in my mind. I try to move on and I hope from now on I will score in every single game and help my team.”
Celtic suffered a 2-1 defeat when they played against Hearts at Tynecastle in their opening cinch Premiership game back in July and Giakoumakis is keen to help the Glasgow club avenge that loss in Gorgie on Wednesday night. 

“It’s going to be a tough game against a strong squad,” he said. “We will face them like any other team before. We will play our game and stick with our plan. If we are as we have to be then we won’t be afraid of anything. This type of game is a big chance for us to show that we are a strong squad and we can beat anyone in this league.”