FILIP BENKOVIC scored his first Celtic goal in the 5-0 demolition of Hearts – and then insisted he is not interested in personal glory.
The skyscraper Croatian defender, on loan from Leicester City, glanced in an unstoppable header for the Hoops’ second goal at Parkhead yesterday.
Benkovic’s timing was perfection as he raced onto a Callum McGregor left-wing corner-kick to leave Tynecastle keeper Zdenel Zlamal helpless as the ball zipped high into the net.
The cultured 21-year-old centre-half said: “I’m very happy with my goal. First of all, I want to put the team first. We attack together and defend together and this is the only way we’re able to achieve these things.
“We did an amazing job because this was a big win for us. I’m really happy with the result and I’m looking forward to the next game.
“When you play in this team, you feel proud. There are very big players in this team and I can learn a lot from them because they have a lot of experience. Everything is very positive right now.”
Benkovic, swiftly becoming a fans’ favourite, added: “It’s always good to have a clean sheet, but the most important thing is the team spirit. Without it, there is no clean sheet.
“We have a few games behind us and we talk to each other in training and during the game. This is important because when you speak to each other it helps to improve.
“We must speak more and concentrate even more in the European game on Thursday. If we can do that, then we can get a positive result.”
RB Leipzig, who beat Brendan Rodgers’ men 2-0 in Germany last month, provide the opposition in the east end of Glasgow in a crucial Europa League Group B encounter.
The Bundesliga giants netted two goals in a devastating four-minute spell in the RB Arena to kill the first game.
However, with the Hoops picking up pace in recent domestic matches and with a packed Parkhead roaring them on it is bound to be an entirely different confrontation this time around.