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AJER’S BUNCH OF FIVES

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KRISTOFFER AJER saw Celtic complete last season with a 5-0 trouncing of St Mirren at Parkhead on March 7.

Leigh Griffiths cracked in a hat-trick as Odsonne Edouard and Callum McGregor, with a penalty-kick, put St Mirren to the sword before football went into cold storage a few days later due the coronavirus pandemic.

Two months later, Neil Lennon’s men were awarded their ninth successive title by the SPFL hierarchy as the fixtures came to an emergency halt while they led the table by 13 points with only eight games to play.

Ajer teamed up with Christopher Jullien again in the heart of the rearguard as the Hoops kicked off their latest history-seeking campaign with another five-goal victory, this time 5-1 against Hamilton Accies on Sunday, almost five months after their last competitive outing against the Paisley outfit.

It was Edouard’s turn to take the scoring spotlight with a trio while Jeremie Frimpong and Patryk Klimala netted the others.

The towering Norwegian international centre-back, speaking to The Celtic View, said: “Everyone has been really excited to get going again after such a long break. To finally be back playing is a good feeling and the whole squad is excited to show what we can do.

“We’ve been eager to put on a performance after all the hard work during pre-season. When you look around the full squad, everyone looks really sharp in training and we’re excited to show that in the games.

“We know we have to be at our best from the first game of the season. The fans expect us to win every game and we are hungry to win every game.

“That is never easy, so we have to work hard in training to make sure we can live up to the expectations when we go out onto the pitch. We all love that kind of pressure and we’ve missed it, but that time away from football has only made us hungrier for more success.”

Ajer added: “I did a lot of strength work during the summer so I feel I’ve developed that side of my game. I was lucky enough to be back home in Norway without a complete lockdown, so I was able to do a lot of training with the ball and some work with my friends while adhering to the health advice.

“It was a good period of hard training and, hopefully, it pays off now that we’re back playing football again.”

Ajer and his team-mates go back into action on Sunday when they travel to face Kilmarnock at Rugby Park.

*This week’s Celtic View is on sale now.

 
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