BOSS’ BATTLE CRY: CAPITAL ‘FOCUS’ ORDER

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ANGE POSTECOGLOU will order his players to forget all about the Glasgow derby at Ibrox on Monday afternoon to prepare for “a really good challenge” at Easter Road tomorrow night.

Celtic romped to a 6-1 victory against Hibs in the east end of Glasgow in October when the evergreen James Forrest thumped a hat-trick behind former Hoops keeper David Marshall on his way to becoming a club centurian with 100 strikes.

It was party-time at Parkhead that day, but boss Postecoglou warns the match in the capital will be an entirely different ball game.

The Greek-Australian gaffer, preparing to lead his side to a remarkable twelfth successive Premiership win, is ignoring the forthcoming Govan clash and said: “If you don’t have the right performance and result against Hibs, then what does it matter what the game after is?

SHELTERING…Ange Postecoglou is under cover as Celtic take on Hibs at Easter Road in October last year.

CELEBRATING…Ange Postecoglou shows his joy after the 3-1 victory  in Edinburgh.

“You are going to be disappointed. So, like I said last week, our focus is always on what is next.

“What is next for us is to get ready for a tough game in Edinburgh against a good opponent and making sure that we continue our good form.”

Postecoglou, speaking to the Daily Record, continued: “I think it will be a tough game. We played there last season, it was a draw and it was tough for us.

“It’ll be the same. When you go there, it’s a good stadium, they get a big crowd, it feels like a big game and it’s always a good atmosphere, so you know in those kinds of games it is always going to be a bit edgy.

“You can see what Lee Johnson is trying to do. He is trying to get the team to play a certain way and he probably doesn’t have the personnel at the moment that he needs to do that.

“But he’s sticking to it and, with a couple of more windows, I think you’ll see more and more of what he is trying.”

CELTIC CENTURIAN…James Forrest accepts the applause of the fans after completing his hat-trick – and claiming his 100th goal – in the 6-1 victory over Hibs at Parkhead in October.

The Hoops boss added: “They definitely have some attacking threats, especially with Kevin Nisbet back, as well.

“For us, it is going to be a really good challenge. Again, what’s really important is what we do.

“If we keep playing our football, keep improving, and be as strong as we can be, we know we are tough to beat.”

The Hoops fired blanks in their previous visit to the venue in February, but they enjoyed a 3-1 success three months earlier when Anthony Ralston, Cameron Carter-Vickers and Kyogo Furuhashi claimed the goals.

The champions go into the match in Leith with a nine-point advantage over Michael Beale’s side who take on Motherwell at Ibrox at the same time.

Once the smoke of battle clears tomorrow night we will have a clearer of picture of what is ahead for the first fixture of 2023.

Before that, though, there is business to be taken care of in the capital.

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