Jozo Simunovic – That Croatians go to Mass story and the ‘amazing’ Timo Weah

JOZO SIMUNOVIC was in the news yesterday after an interview with a media outlet back in his native Croatia, given by one of the two Croatian players playing across the city at Ibrox, made it’s way into the tabloids in Scotland.

Bona Barisic, the Rangers all-back, revealed that he has along with his team-mate Nikola Katic developed a close friendship with his two fellow countrymen – Celtic stars Simunovic and Filip Benkovic and revealed that all there go along to Mass together on a Sunday evening!

In an interview in Croatian media outlet Sportske Novosti, Barisic explained:

“I’m with Nikola Katic every day and I sometimes go for lunch or dinner with Jozo Simunovic and Filip Benkovic.

“And on Sunday, we go to Mass at 9pm to pray in the Catholic Church.”

And Barisic believes in miracles: “We are in a title fight after we beat Celtic 1-0 and although we are six points behind, we are not giving up,” he said.

Big Jozo, back in the starting line-up after injuries to Benkovic and Dedryck Boyata has slowly but surely found his form and looked really assured at McDiarmid Park on Sunday and was actually unfortunate not to score. Only a fine save from Saints keeper Zander Clark denied him what would have been a lovely goal.

Simunovic is featured in this evening’s Match Day Programme – always a good buy when purchasing alongside the Celtic View in the club’s Double Deal – is expecting a tough games against Hibs. The 24 year old started by discussing the physical demands on players in the Scottish game.

“There is rarely time for rest in the Scottish league, and playing games so often and so regularly is what we’re used to,” Jozo said.

“We had an especially busy November and December, then we got a little break but still worked hard in early January. Now it’s a game every three or four days again, and we train hard in between times.

“We know what we can expect from Hibs tonight. Whenever they come to Celtic Park, they fight for their lives, but we are always ready.

“We’re ready to show our quality in the game, and our discipline – as we did against St Johnstone on Sunday.

“We always play game-to-game, but our run this year so far has returned some really good stats. We just need to keep going, but as I’ve always said, working as a team has always been our strength – and if we can do that to the best of our abilities, that’s going to have a positive impact on our stats.

“We can never think too far ahead, and we always need to go week-by-week – as we did over the course of the last few games.

“We showed that on the pitch, and our performances showed that, in the moment, we were completely focused on that game, that team and that performance. That’s our structure, and that’s always our outlook.”

Jozo also praised the new arrivals at the club who have made an immediate impact and added much needed strength in depth to a squad ravaged by injuries this season. Like the rest of us Jozo was raving about the impact and the performance of young Timo Weah who was given the Man of the Match for what Broony described as a ’20 minute cameo performance.”

“When he came on, Timo was amazing against St Johnstone, and that’s amazing for everyone in the team, not just for him,” said Simunovic.

“Coming off the bench, helping the team with an assist and, of course, scoring a goal is something which drives everyone, collectively and individually, to give more and more.

“Sometimes the team needs that bit of freshness coming off the bench, and sometimes the player coming on themselves needs that.

“What Timo did against St Johnstone was amazing, and giving that contribution as a sub is everything a striker wants to do.”

Incidentally the provisional team listed earlier today on The Celtic Star looks like being 100% spot on, so we are hearing…

Also on The Celtic Star today…

Celtic v Hibs Preview – Provisional Starting Eleven as Celtic expect ‘a difficult game’

‘Relentless’ Celtic to TCB, ‘Take Care of Business’ – Niall J’s Elvis-themed Premiership Preview

Bad Blood in the Boardrooms! The reason Scott Allan is not playing for Hibs tonight?

‘That puts a smile on my face,’ Celtic legend Scott Brown

Anthony Ralston’s ‘not been hurt’ but got a ‘huge fright’ in car crash near Lennoxtown

Jim Craig – Celtic’s top star Pat Crerand sold to Man Utd for just £56k

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About Author

The Celtic Star founder and editor, who has edited numerous Celtic books over the past decade or so including several from Lisbon Lions, Willie Wallace, Tommy Gemmell and Jim Craig. Earliest Celtic memories include a win over East Fife at Celtic Park and the 4-1 League Cup loss to Partick Thistle as a 6 year old. Best game? Easy 4-2, 1979 when Ten Men Won the League. Email

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