ALBIAN AJETI is planning in going into the Ange Postecoglou era at Celtic with all guns blazing.
The Swiss striker, a £5million arrival from West Ham a year ago, flopped spectacularly with a meagre six goals – and only one after September.
Ajeti toiled to make an impact as Neil Lennon’s team failed lamentably in their efforts to claim a tenth successive title and finished a wretched campaign an inexplicable 25 points off the pace. The startling drop in the team’s fortunes cost the Irishman his job in February on the way to the Hoops’ first trophyless season in 11 years.
The 24-year-old forward admitted life in Covid lockdown made it even more difficult for him to show his qualities – but he aims to rectify that this time around.
His alarming dip in form also saw him ditched from the Switzerland international set-up as he missed the opportunity to get involved in the Euros.
LEADER OF THE PACK…Albian Ajeti leads out the Celtic team for the friendly against Sheffield Wednesday.
However, the misfiring marksman has been given a clean slate by new gaffer Postecoglou, as CQN reported yesterday.
He was given the captain’s armband for the midweek closed-door work-out against Sheffield Wednesday and the forward responded by scoring the first goal in his side’s 3-1 victory over the League One outfit.
Reflecting on his false start at Parkhead, Ajeti said: “It was a difficult season. Not just for me, for everyone.
“It wasn’t easy. But almost the whole world was like this. I’m happy we are getting back towards normal and to enjoy life again.
“I’m looking forward to focusing myself on the new season. We will try to reach the goals as a club.
“We didn’t reach our goals last season, both personally and as a team.
“First of all, we want to be back on top at the end of the season. That’s our main target as a club
ON TARGET…Albian Ajeti fires in the first goal of the Ange Postecoglou era at Parkhead.
“Personally, I want to help the team as much as I can to reach that goal. If we reach that, I think everyone will shine and everyone will be happy.
“It was good to get 60 minutes in the legs on Wednesday. I couldn’t ask for a better start.”
Ajeti has also been impressed by Postecoglou as he attempts to hit the ground running as Lennon’s successor with the Champions League second round qualifier against FC Midtjylland due in Glasgow a week on Tuesday.
The one-time prolific Basel hitman, speaking to the Daily Record, added: “The manager is very calm, but he is so confident. He is so convincing in everything he says and does, which gives us players a lot of confidence, as well.
“We are sticking together. We want to win. It doesn’t matter if it is Champions League, Europa League, a league, Cup or friendly game, we want to win it.
CELTIC VIEWS…Albian Ajeti talks to the club’s TV channel after the 3-1 win.
“It was a great feeling to be captain on Wednesday. But the most important thing is to be on the pitch and help the team.
“It was only a friendly game, but I was still proud to be captain. It’s almost impossible to find another Scott Brown.
“I think we have some great leaders in the team, good characters and different types of characters.
“We need to stick together now and fully focus on the season ahead. I think that is the key way to be successful.”
Ajeti and his team-mates will be back in action against Charlton in Newport tomorrow afternoon as the Hoops players continue to get rid of the summer rust.