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IN SQUAD WE TRUST: AJER’S PRAISE

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KRISTOFFER AJER has partnered Dedryck Boyata, Filip Benkovic, Jozo Simunovic and Jack Hendry in central defence during an eventful season.

Celtic’s resources have been stretched as the back four has also seen Kieran Tierney, Emilio Izaguirre, Callum McGregor and Jonny Hayes utilised at left-back wihile Mikael Lustig, Cristian Gamboa and Jeremy Toljan have battled for the No.2 shirt.

There has even been a switch in goal with Scott Bain replacing Craig Gordon since the turn of the year.

It has been unsettling, but the injuries haven’t derailed the champions as they hold a 10-point advantage at the top of the Premiership with only games left to play as they zero in on their eighth successive title.

The League Cup – won against Aberdeen in December – is already in the trophy cabinet, a Scottish Cup semi-final against the Dons beckons next month and the unprecedented treble treble is within touching distance.

Ajer, who is ready to play for Norway in their Euro 2020 qualifier against Spain and Sweden in the forthcoming days, is determined to lead from the back as the Parkhead men eye another silverware clean sweep.

SHAKE ON IT…crocked Kristoffer Ajer is replaced by Jack Hendry in Celtic’s 1-0 League Cup win over St Johnstone in September. 

The skyscraper centre-back, speaking to the Celtic View, said: “We’ve had some injuries and this is something all teams have to contend with.

“The team has coped well throughout that time and we’ve continued to get results.

“One of our biggest strengths is the quality of our squad. We have a good-sized squad with players training every day at a high level.

“Whenever anyone gets the chance they’re always ready and that makes a real difference in helping to maintain the current form in the team.

“All of the players in the squad have shown that they’re good enough at this level when they come into the team.

“We have some important players coming back now which is important as we come into the final stretch of the season.”

Callum McGregor made his first appearance after missing four games in the 1-0 win over Dundee on Sunday while interim manager Neil Lennon hopes to bring back Tom Rogic and Olivier Ntcham for their first Hoops outings in 2019.

Ryan Christie is still struggling and has already been ruled out of the March 31 encounter against Steven Gerrard’s Ibrox visitors where the title kings can move 13 points closer to the club’s 50th flag.

*Read the full and exclusive interview with Ajer in this week’s Celtic View, on sale now.

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