THE GREEKS DOMINATING SCOTTISH FOOTBALL: Ange and Giakoumakis awarded manager and player of the month

Giorgios Giakoumakis Ange Postecoglou

Giorgos Giakoumakis and Ange Postecoglou have dominated Scottish football for the month of May, with the former being named the Cinch Scottish Premiership Player of the Month for March and the latter winning his third Cinch Scottish Premiership Manager of the Month prize for the same period.

The Celtic FC forward scored successive home game hat-tricks, including crucial goals against Dundee to edge the game 3-2.

Meanwhile, the Athens-born Ange Postecoglou won his third Premiership Manager of the Month for steering Celtic FC to 32 games unbeaten.

With only six games left of the season, Celtic FC are six points ahead of second placed Rangers.

This is partially thanks to Giakoumakis scoring five goals in total in the month, with three coming in the league. All three league goals came in the one game, as the Greek striker notched his second hat-trick of the season, and second in two months, in a 4-0 home win over Ross County.

Those goals took his tally to 12 goals, which have come in 13 starts and 23 appearances this season as Giakoumakis has become a crucial member of Ange Postecoglou’s squad.

Even more impressive is that each of those 12 strikes has come as one-touch finishes, showcasing his lethal ability at putting the ball in the back of the net when opportunities arise.

The month of March only saw two league games due to an international break and a week of Scottish Cup quarter-finals, where the Celts won 3-0 away to Dundee United and Giakouamkis scored twice.

However, it was a crucial period in the league as the Hoops saw off Ross County and defeated Livingston 3-1 away from home.

The month ended perfectly for Giakouamkis as he was rewarded for his fine form by earning a recall to the Greek national squad, gaining two more caps in friendly matches against Romania and Montenegro.

Speaking after winning the award, he said: “I work a lot on my first touch finish but I can also score with more touches.”

“I’m a striker and when I get the chance to score with one touch then I do it,” he continued.

“Last season I didn’t only score with one touch but this season it’s happened, although I don’t care how many touches I need, just to score.

“The plan of the team is the best for me with my style of play as it’s offensive and attacking football and it helps me a lot to have many chances in the game.’

“It’s my job to score the goals but this is something that really helps me to have these types of chances from my team-mates.”

After one goal in the first half of the season and three months spent on the treatment table, since the turn of the year, the 27-year-old has become a vital figure in Ange Postecoglou’s team.

Although he didn’t get on the scoresheet in Sunday’s 2-1 win over Rangers, the striker played a crucial role both offensively and defensively to ensure the three points.

With a six-point lead and just six games remaining, Giakoumakis isn’t getting carried away and knows there are still plenty of points left to play for in the hunt for the title, starting with St Johnstone at home on Saturday.

“We gave everything against Rangers,” he added. “We didn’t play our best game but it was a game that I can say was about passion and fight.

“Eventually, we won the game and it was really important for us to do so.

‘The 700 fans there were a great impact on us and helped us a lot and I’m really proud to have them next to us and we play for them in every game.’

“We lead the race by six points but it’s not over yet and we need to protect this lead by winning every game.

“If we win our games then we don’t have to look at other teams so that’s our mentality right now.

“We won the derby but from Monday we focused on St Johnstone. That’s something we do every week and something we will do until the end.

“The last game at home against St Johnstone was my first from the start. I scored a goal but then I got injured and I had to work a lot on my own.

“Since the second part of the season I’m really fit and strong and I’m looking forward.”

READ MORE: Joe Hart to Micah Richards: Ange Postecoglou is “one of the best, most inspirational.”