Celtic defender Jozo Simunovic might be the happiest man at the club right now.
His towering header against Kilmarnock at the weekend is one that will go down in Hoops folklore considering the timing and style of the match winning effort.
In the week that legend Billy McNeill sadly passed away, the big number five defender paid the perfect tribute with just his third goal in Celtic colours as the clocked ticked on to 67 minutes.
Even without the goal he’s becoming popular with supporters, many of whom are enjoying his resurgence in form under interim manager Neil Lennon.
The defender credits it all to his new manager too, revealing the personal chats that have helped him find renewed confidence.
As quoted by The Daily Record, the 24-year-old said:
I’m feeling good. I always think that when a new manager comes it brings something new. Something positive or some changes. The manager has brought that. For me and for some other players here as well.
I’m playing consistently and that was the most important thing. Not just for me, every player wants the same thing. He doesn’t want to feel like he is the fourth or fifth option.
The manager has been good in speaking to everyone in the team. He did with me as well and we settled some things, how it should be and the effect has been very good on me.
He keeps putting his trust in me. He has had a chat with every player and he told me what he expects from me. I’m just following that.
Simunovic’s excellent form is arriving at the perfect time, with both Dedryck Boyata and Filip Benkovic expected to leave at the end of the season.
The Hoops need confident players ready to go in the upcoming European qualifiers and his exciting partnership with Kristoffer Ajer at least gives the team a bit of stability in the short term.
Celtic still need defenders and there are question marks about his ability to play consistently over the course of a season, but the signs are good for the centre half and long may that continue.
Can Simunovic become an important player for the Hoops next season? Have your say in the comments below…