EFE AMBROSE believes the challenge being provided by Aberdeen will galvanise Celtic’s Premiership title defence.

The SPFL champions were knocked off the summit when the Dons beat St Johnstone 2-0 before Celtic’s game at Partick Thistle fell victim to a waterlogged pitch on New Year’s Day.

However, the Nigerian defender insists the pressure applied by the Pittodrie side will simply bring the best out of the Hoops.

He said: “Aberdeen are at the top and they deserve it.
“They are a great team and have been playing well.
“We respect them and we look for the challenge from them. Not just them, Dundee United ,too, so we need to step up.
“The best of Celtic is going to come because we know there are teams behind us trying to take the title from us.
“What we need to do is win every game from now until the end of the season.
“I believe we have the ability and the squad that can do that.
“But it is easier said than done. People think it is easy for Celtic for win the league, but it isn’t.
“Every team wants to beat Celtic so that makes it difficult.
“It puts pressure on us and it is not easy.
“We have to have the character. We have not been at our best, but that is football.
“I think it will change this year. Against Kilmarnock it is going to be a different Celtic team.” Celtic will fly out to Gran Canaria for a winter break following their trip to Rugby Park.

Boss Ronny Deila insists he has no problems with playing on Killie’s artificial pitch even though he has yet to see it.

He said: “I think it is much better to play on a good artificial pitch than to play on bumpy natural grass.
“The tempo of the game is high and the ball will move very quick.
“I have a lot of experience with artificial pitch so it is normal for me, but I understand it is different for the players.”

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