ANGE POSTECOGLOU is convinced it will be a case of full steam ahead for his Celtic side as they eye the finishing line in a dramatic campaign.

The Premiership pacesetters have nine league games to play and the demanding sequence will continue against Livingston in the midday showdown in West Lothian today.

The Hoops are tops on goal difference going into the encounter following Kemar Roofe’s controversial late winner for Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s side over Aberdeen at Ibrox yesterday.

Postecoglou’s men can extend the lead to three points once more provided they do the business on the dodgy pitch which has presented some unwelcome problems in the past, including this season in the 1-0 slip in September.

A BIG HAND…Ange Postecoglou applauds the Celtic fans after the recent 4-0 win over Motherwell at Fir Park.

However, the Greek-Australian is confident his team will be fit and raring to go for the Premiership split. He insisted two free midweeks, as well as the international break, will allow his players to refuel before pushing for their tenth championship in 11 years.

Postecoglou said: “I hope we’re on track to be strong for this part of the season, that’s the plan.

“After Livingston, we’ve got eight days until we play in the Scottish Cup. That will be the first free midweek we’ve had for a while.

“That means we can rest some of the players and put some work into others.

“Then it’s another week until we play Ross County before the international break. That’s a good period of time for us to do some work.”

READY, STEADY, GO…Josip Juranovic and Stephen Welsh prepare for the trip to Livingston.

IT TAKES TWO…Liam Scales and Filipe Jota prepare for a work-out at Lennoxtown.

BRING IT ON…Cameron Carter-Vickers, who smashed in the breakthrough goal against St Mirren in midweek, prepares for the challenge of Livingston. Images courtesy of Celtic TV.

Postecoglou, speaking to the Sunday Mail, added: “The positive thing for us is that the lads we got in January have performed right away.

“That has allowed me to rotate the side, which means we haven’t over-burned any players.

“We haven’t had the level of injuries we had in the first half of the season. So, I’m hoping we got to the international break with a fully fit, healthy squad.

“That will help us be at our strongest for the most important part of the year.”

Celtic, of course, are hoping to complete an intriguing campaign with the domestic clean sweep after picking up the first piece of silverware of the season with a 2-1 win over Hibs in the Premier Sports League Cup at Hampden in December.

After today’s tussle in Livingston, Postecoglou and his players can concentrate on the Scottish Cup quarter-final confrontation against Dundee United at Tannadice a week tomorrow.

First things first, though, and that means making sure of three points against David Martindale’s team today.

* DON’T miss the unbeatable match report from Livingston v Celtic this afternoon – only in your champion CQN.

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