sport

Pukki boosted by friendly strike

Celtic striker Teemu Pukki admits his impressive strike against Trabzonspor has given him a much-needed confidence boost.

The Finn struck from long range in a 3-1 victory in their first match in the Turkish Airlines Antalya Cup.

The 23-year-old had only netted three times in 21 competitive games since signing from Schalke in August and he hopes his goal can help him improve on that record.

"It was good to get some game-time for the players who haven't played so much," the Finland international told Celtic TV.

"It gives me my confidence back after a few games when I haven't scored. It's always good to score and I hope now that I can continue that in the future."

Also on the score sheet was Portuguese striker Amido Balde, who has made even less of an impact at Parkhead since his summer signing with only two goals in competitive games.

But Balde also struck a glorious goal and formed a promising partnership with Pukki, who enjoyed playing with the target man.

"It was really good," Pukki said. "We found each other really well and we both worked hard to get the ball from the defenders so it was a good game for both of us.

"It's much better for me than being alone up front. Whether it's dropping a little bit deeper or playing up front as one of two strikers, that's what I've been used to doing before I came here."

Celtic, who postponed their Scottish Premiership fixture with Kilmarnock this weekend, play the winners of Friday night's game between Ajax and Galatasaray in the final of the Turkish tournament on Sunday.