CELTIC manager Brendan Rodgers has a clearly defined focus as the six-in-a-row champions kick off the Premiership at Parkhead this afternoon.
Hearts are first up in an attempt to derail the Hoops following the historic, unbeaten run last season that saw the Irishman’s team dominate all three domestic trophies.
In his debut term as team boss, he saw his team labelled ‘The Invincibles’ as they completed the league campaign a record 30 points clear of their closest rivals Aberdeen.
Celtic are in a masterclass of their own and there is the notion they might ultimately suffer from the lack of a genuine challenge at domestic level.
That is dismissed out of hand by Rodgers, who says: “Others need it, but we don’t.
“Our measure is that we want to be the best we can be. We know what it takes to compete in European football. That’s our measure.
“Some people will say we need a strong Rangers (sic), strong Aberdeen, strong Hibs – but that’s no good if you’re not strong.
“We can’t weigh it. Our standard we set ourselves, no-one else helps us set it. That was my approach last year when I came in and it was exactly the same throughout the season.
“For people on the outside looking in, there’s maybe not so much to write about when the gap is 20 points or 39 points.
“I don’t need to worry about that. I’m not crying for it. It’s great if it’s there. But it can’t define us.
“It’s great for the game if you have that, one team a point ahead and helicopter Sunday and all that stuff. But it’s not going to define how I work every day.
“I always try to work at a world-class level and that’s the demand for the players. With all due respect, I don’t need to know what Rangers (sic), Aberdeen, Hibs, Hearts or St Johnstone are doing to motivate me.
“I’m not going to have a lazy day because we are winning by 20 points or whatever.
“My worry is to make us the best I can. Do your talking on the pitch. There are lots of squads, lots of talk, lots of theorists – lots of things that go around.
“Time will tell. You show your strength on the field. You play your games, you get your points, get your wins and get your performances consistently.”