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‘I LIKE TO FOCUS,’ ARMSTRONG

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STUART ARMSTRONG will go head to head with best pal Gary Mackay-Steven when Celtic take on Aberdeen at Parkhead tomorrow.

The Hoops midfielder was delighted his former team-mate fired in three goals in the Dons’ 4-1 win over Hibs last weekend.

And Armstrong was equally delighted to open the scoring with a wonder strike in the 2-0 win over Partick Thistle in midweek.

He said: “I saw Gary the other day and he wouldn’t stop talking about his hat-trick.

“But I won’t talk to him during our game. I won’t even look at him!

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“It is funny, I saw Blair Spittal, a former colleague at Dundee United, after the midweek game and he was making jokes about me, saying that I had ignored him for 90 minutes.

“That is just how I am. I don’t like to speak to any friends. I just like to concentrate on the game. Afterwards, I can speak to them or have a joke with them.

“Everyone’s different – sometimes people see mates on the pitch and make a few jokes with them, but that is just not me.

“I like to focus on the game. When I first came here, we played Dundee United straight away and I didn’t say a word to anybody.”

Armstrong, though, remains an admirer of GMS, who left Parkhead for Pittodrie in the summer.

He added: “I think you will have seen in the past what a threatening player Gary can be.

“Last week, he scored three and showed he is a very good player – one we will need to look out for and try to account for.

“He is one of my closest friends so when somebody you know does well you are always happy for them.

“Look, he is a quality player – I have played with him for five years or so and seen his qualities day in day out in training.

“Sometimes things just don’t work out in certain places but he is definitely showing his quality again at Aberdeen.

“Especially with the winter break coming, Aberdeen will be wanting to get as close as possible.

“For us, it is about stretching that gap at the top. That is our aim, to get to the winter break with a big gap and then, hopefully, we can stay there.”

Meanwhile…

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