Celtic are through to the Scottish Cup Fifth Round after a win against Alloa Athletic at the Indodrill Stadium. The League One side sprang into life in the final ten minutes thanks to Conor Sammon’s headed goal but Celtic were comfortable enough across the game, even if the scoreline didn’t fully reflect this.
Injuries – poor squad management
Celtic suffered three injuries in the course of the game, but none were thanks to the 4G surface. Callum McGregor was forced off in the first half after his cheekbone was struck by the shoulder of an Alloa player. The Celtic skipper appeared to be in some discomfort and was replaced by James McCarthy.
Abada, who scored Celtic’s opener, was forced from the field after taking a sore one on the top of the foot. He was replaced by Jota, who got some valuable time on the park but it was at the expense of his teammate.
The next player to be forced from the field was Guchi, the Japanese midfielder was caught on the ankle in a red card challenge, only for Don Robertson to show a yellow. The decision to play McGregor was potentially poor squad management for this clash as it now means that Celtic could be without their captain for the games against Hearts, Dundee United and Rangers. This also means that a potential first pick midfield of Rogic, Turnbull and McGregor is unavailable for a crucial run of fixtures.
Return of Jullien
It was good to see Christopher Jullien make the bench this evening. The Frenchman marked nearly thirteen months away from competitive action with a place on bench away to Alloa; however, the manager now has an option if he thinks that any of his current defenders are underperforming.
Wasteful in front of goal
Celtic had plenty of chances to kill the game off. New signing Daizen Maeda had a few opportunities to add to his debut goal on Monday. Getting Giakoumakis 90 mins and getting Jota up to speed will be reassuring for the manager. Albian Ajeti and Kyogo are currently out so the players that are there need to make up for the top goalscorer and ensure that Celtic do not rue missed opportunities.
The part-timers gave a good account of themselves but the main thing is that Celtic are through.