London (AFP) – Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou does not know if Japanese international Kyogo Furuhashi has been affected by the racist abuse he received but he is “good to go” for Thursday’s Europa League play-off second leg meeting with Dutch side AZ Alkmaar.
Furuhashi was targeted in a song by fans from Celtic’s bitter rivals Rangers which came to light last Sunday.
Those involved have been banned indefinitely by Rangers who Celtic face in their first Old Firm derby on Sunday.
Furuhashi has made an instant impact since joining Celtic from Japanese outfit Vissel Kobe, scoring six times in seven appearances.
One of those goals came in last week’s 2-0 victory over Alkmaar in the first leg in Glasgow.
“Has he been affected? Unless you walk a mile in another person’s shoes, how do you really know?” said Postecoglou at his eve of match press conference.
“But he’s a positive character. He’s really enjoying his time here, not just the football but living in a new country and the experience.
“When 99% of your experience is overwhelmingly positive, that 1% — I hope anyway because I feel responsible and protective of him — doesn’t affect his overall outlook.”
Postecoglou said Furuhashi knew the fans who racially abused him were not representative of the Scottish population as a whole.
“He’s training well, he’s a very happy-natured guy,” said Postecoglou.
“The club’s supporting him, so he’s been good.
“He understands this is not reflective of his experience here.”
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