RONNY DEILA insists it is vital Celtic consolidate their lead at the top of the Premiership when they face Partick Thistle at Parkhead tomorrow night.
The Hoops currently hold a seven-point lead over Aberdeen with just eight games remaining.
And although the Hoops have played one game fewer than the Dons, Deila is adamant his side have to press home their advantage in a bid to end the challenge of the Pittodrie club.
Having won all three Glasgow derbies this season, Celtic are strong favourites to make it four-in-a-row over Alan Archibald’s outfit.
Deila said: “This game is important and Partick Thistle are one of the best teams just now – they’ve had a good spell with some good results so it will be a good test for us.
“We’re going into a period with a lot of games, the last period before the season is finished, so we’re prepared for that and, hopefully, we’ll pick up a lot of points and also get to another Cup Final.
“We’re getting closer all the time, but when you get closer, the games become bigger and tomorrow night’s game against Thistle is a very big game for us. If we win, it puts more pressure on Aberdeen, but if we lose, it’s open again.
“When we played them at Firhill, we played well although they still caused us some problems, so we have to be up for the game and have a very good performance if we want to get all three points.
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“Everything is possible in football. Nobody can take the points from us that we already have, but we have to win more games before we win the league.
“We have to be prepared. We’re in a very good position just now, which we have to enjoy, but this period is the most important so far.”