Tomoki’s confusion at Celtic fans booing his Fir Park substitution

When Celtic’s travelling support booed the substitution of Tomoki Iwata last Sunday at Fir Park with Celtic chasing a winner, they did so because they felt that the Japanese midfielder had been having an outstanding game.

Brendan Rodgers later admitted his own surprise at this reaction to taking off a defensive midfielder to introduce a forward as he looked for a vital winning goal with the scoreline tied at 1-1.

It worked out well for Rodgers and Celtic. Adam Idah scoring his second goal of the afternoon to put Celtic ahead.  Then Luis Palma making sure of the points with a third for Celtic.

Tomoki Iwata of Celtic FC pics up an injury and will take no further part in the game during the Champions League Match day 6, Celtic FC vs Feyenoord, Celtic Park, December 12 2023. 

Tomoki’s Confusion

Tomoki though was left rather confused by the booing that he heard as he left the field.  Only later did he understand that it was a huge compliment to him that was being paid by the Celtic support.

“At the beginning I was confused, like, ‘Is it toward me?’ or what'” Tomoki Iwata explained, as reported by Glasgow Times.  “But then I think it was, in a way, a compliment and I take it very well. So I just want to meet the expectations now.”

With Callum McGregor struggling to make today’s game there will be added responsibility of Tomoki’s shoulders today. Yet it is a match that he is looking forward to as Celtic look to regain the leadership at the top of the Scottish Premiership.

Tomoki Iwata of Celtic Celtic v Dundee, Cinch Scottish Premiership, Football, Celtic Park, Glasgow, UK – 28 Feb 2024. Photo Mark Runnacles/Shutterstock

“It will definitely be a difficult game, but if we just follow our game plan and we perform well and individually – every player can play better than Wednesday, even – then the possibility to win the game against Hearts at Tynecastle will be even higher, so we just need to do our best.”

Frustration turns to happiness

Tomoki admitted that he is happier now that he is fully fit and getting plenty of minutes after a stop-start time at Celtic caused by injuries.

“Now I start to be featuring in the games, I’m really happy about it and now I can look to contribute more towards the team winning,” Tomoki said.

“Before that I was obviously frustrated no being involved in the team because of the injuries or different situations but then also I was hoping that soon I would get the opportunities so, yeah, it was a difficult moment but now I’m happy.”

Tags Brendan Rodgers Callum McGregor Celtic Shorts Hearts v Celtic Tomoki Iwata
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