Kyogo Furuhashi has set himself a twin-target of 30 goals and a run in the Champions League this season.
The Japanese internationalist goes in against Hearts at Celtic Park this afternoon, looking to score for the third game in a row, having netted in the wins against Ross County and Kilmarnock.
The Hoops hitman’s form and fitness are great news for both manager, Ange Postecoglou, and the fans, who felt his absence keenly when he was out injured for the first few months of the year.
Kyogo promises he is now only just getting started.
“In terms of my condition, I feel really good,” said the 27-year-old. “We have good communication in the squad and with the manager, and already I think you can see us expressing the type of football we want to play.
“But we have still committed mistakes, and that is an area we have to improve on.
“In terms of my goals, I am happy with them, and happy to have contributed to wins for the team.
“At the same time, I know I have tasks to perform, so I want to keep working and stay concentrated.
“I get lots of opportunities, and I am thinking about what I can do more to contribute a bit more to the team.
“First, at least, I have to score 20 goals.
“Then, if I can participate in all games, I would like to have 25 and then 30 goals in the season.”
Fuelling Furuhashi’s optimism is his belief that Celtic are in a much better place than they were this time last year.
“We had last season with the manager, so already we understand what we have to do, and what we want to do,” he said.
“With new signings in the group, we have good synergy and a good atmosphere in the team.
“In our opening three games, you have already seen that we are playing football that makes it very tough for the opponents.
“But although we have had three victories, I am still not satisfied. We would like to improve our football.
“We want to do this to show what we are capable of, and to make our fans happy with more victories.”
Celtic’s form is timely, as the Hoops will head into the draw for the Champions League group stage in Istanbul on Thursday.
“It is something everyone is excited about – collectively as a team, and individually as players,” said Kyogo.
“Playing in these games is how you grow, as a team and as players. They are important, and we will have to prepare for them the best way possible.
“I could say the name of a lot of teams: Barcelona, Manchester City, Real Madrid or Liverpool. Wow!
“There are so many great names in the competition. I would love to play in these games for Celtic, and create goals.
“So we know those days will come, which is great. Until then, we have to focus on the challenges we have.
“The most-important thing is that whoever we play against, we play our football and achieve victories.”
Furuhashi reports he has also been making efforts to develop on a personal level too.
“Last year I spent a lot of time in my flat, but now I have started to go out because I like to meet people and communicate with them,” he said.
“Everyone in Glasgow recognises me, and I am happy to be here because people are always supporting me with their comments, and asking me for pictures.
“I have been going out, not only in this city but other places as well.
“I have been to Edinburgh, which I enjoyed, and I would like to visit the Harry Potter Bridge (the Glenfinnan Viaduct in the Highlands). It looks nice.”
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