OLIVIER NTCHAM insists Celtic proved they are the best in the country with their overwhelming 3-0 Btefred League Cup semi-final win over Hearts at Murrayfield on Sunday.

The French midfielder reckons the Hoops once more put their critics in their place as they booked a Hampden date with Aberdeen in the Final on December 2 as they look for a hat-trick of successes in the tournament.

Ntcham said: “Everyone is close to us, but it’s always good to show our quality and determination. When we are at our best, though, I don’t think there is anyone here who can beat us.

“It was important for us to show that we could win without Scott Brown, he is a major player for us.

“I think the best team won on Sunday, so I am happy for the team and happy to be in the Final again.

“We responded positively when questions are asked and we do that as a team because we are all together.

“We win like that and we are also together when we lose. It was very important to beat Hearts because we play them again on Saturday and this was a good message for us to send out to them.

“This will put a lot of doubts in their minds because, when you lose 3-0, next week they are not likely to play like they were playing before this game.

“I think we could have scored even more goals, but we are improving and it was a positive message when you think of all the players we were missing.

“It’s always nice to win like this. The first-half was difficult for us, but we showed our quality in the end.

“Hearts beat us at the beginning of the season and that was our motivation.

“This was a good game in which to show them that we are the champions.”

Ntcham was linked with a £15million bid from Porto in the summer, but he said: “I just concentrate on my football. It’s my agent’s job to deal with all the talk about transfers while I just focus on my job.

“I am happy here and I am getting better as a player with every game.”

The former Manchester City star, who cost £4.5million in the summer of 2017, will miss tomorrow night’s game against Dundee at Dens Park after limping out of the action at half-time on Sunday.

However, he added: “I hope to be fit in time for next weekend, but I don’t know. I am quite happy with how I have begun this season and I want to come back quickly.”

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