Jozo Simunovic makes comment after home Celtic debut, discusses injury situation

Celtic U-20s

New Celtic defender Jozo Simunovic made his first start at Celtic Park on Saturday.

New Celtic defender Jozo Simunovic has told the club's official website that he was excited to make his first home start for the club on Sunday.

The Bhoys recovered from Thursday's 3-1 defeat away at Molde by hammering Dundee United 5-0 on Sunday afternoon, as goals from Leigh Griffiths, Dedryck Boyata, two from Kris Commons and an Aaron Kuhl own goal handed Celtic a much-needed victory.

The game also saw Croatian centre back Jozo Simunovic make his first start at Celtic Park having arrived from Dinamo Zagreb on deadline day back in September.

Simunovic, 21, is seen as the man who can replace Virgil van Dijk following the Dutchman's move to Southampton, but whilst he impressed in the recent 2-2 draw against Ajax, the Croatian has been sidelined through injury of late.

He did return against Dundee United though, and but in another promising performance as Bhoys fans look for somebody to stabilise their wobbly defence.

Now, speaking to the club's official website, Simunovic admitted that he was pleased with his home debut on Sunday, and discussed his recent absence through injury.

"It felt very good. I was excited to play yesterday and I felt we played very well. I’m really chuffed," said Simunovic. "Unfortunately, the injury happened in training and it took quite a long time to heal, but hopefully now that is behind me.

"I want to get back quickly and help the team as much as I can. It was very hard watching on the sidelines. There was nothing I could do about it, but I worked really hard to get back. There are many games ahead of me now and I hope I can stay healthy," he added.

Rather than bring in a veteran defender to replace Van Dijk, Celtic went with the potential of Simunovic instead - and whilst it may have been a slow start for him, he could now make a big impact having returned to the team over the weekend.

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