CELTIC boss Ronny Deila insists his players are fresher after hammering hapless Hamilton Accies 8-1 in a whirlwind display at Parkhead.
The Hoops were 3-0 ahead in only 10 minutes as they pummelled Michael McGovern’s goal. They were five in front by the time the interval arrived.
And Leigh Griffiths claimed his FOURTH hat-trick for the club to take his season’s haul to a remarkable 27.
It was the champions’ 37th competitive match of the campaign and it was a win that takes them six points clear of Aberdeen as they zero in on their fifth successive league crown.
Deila said: “I feel a freshness and smiles in the group, I see smiles and people are looking forward to playing.
“We have to ask why we were good against Hamilton and put out the same performance against St Johnstone on Saturday because that is going to be a tough game, as well.
“When we play at this level, it is tough to beat us.
”It’s always hard to keep up the tempo and intensity. I think we looked sharp and I’ve seen in training in the last few weeks we have looked better and better.
“Against Hamilton, you could see what kind of tempo we can play at if we are at our best.
“We have played so many games before Christmas and a lot of emotions, happy days and bad days.
“We have kept on going since June 20 without a very long break. Now after Christmas we had some weeks when we could rest and just train and now you see more energy in the team.”
A delighted Deila continued: “It was a fantastic night, a very good performance. We scored a lot of goals and could have scored more.
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“It’s important we got the goals and we could have had many more because we had so many chances.
“First of all, though, it’s about the three points and then it’s about getting as many goals as possible.”
The Norwegian made two half-time substitutions with Tom Rogic and Jozo Simunovic going off. However, he is confident there is no concern ahead of the game against St Johnstone.
He added: “Tom twisted his ankle, but I don’t think it’s a big thing, so, hopefully, he’ll be ready for Saturday.
“Jozo is a bit of a precaution after feeling it in his hamstring.”