HATEM ABD ELHAMED has revealed he is thriving on the intensity of being a Celtic player.

The Israel international right-back also admitted competition for first team places keeps him highly motivated.

Elhamed, who joined in a £1.6million switch from Hapeol Be’er Sheva in the summer, was on the substitutes’ bench in the dismal 2-0 loss at Livingston only three days after starring in the 2-0 Europa League Group E triumph against Cluj at a packed Parkhead.

The mood of the supporters was in direct contrast after the two diverse confrontations.

The 28-year-old defender, speaking to the Evening Times, said: “Fans have the right to react to a result however they want.

ON THE RUN…Hatem Abd Elhamed surges into attack.

“That’s what happens when you come to a club like Celtic, the supporters expect a lot from the players.

“We need to be professional and focus on the next game – as that’s the most important. We need to show our character and our mentality to send 60,000 fans home happy.

“We have looked very good since the start of the season and there have only been a couple of disappointments. We need to keep going this way and keep showing the same attitude and mentality.

“With Celtic, you switch between league and European games very quickly. But we are all professional and we need to deal with that. It’s about switching your mind and mentality.

“The games are not always the same, there are different stadiums and atmospheres all the time. But you always need to go and do your best and try to get three points.

“This is life at a big club. Every game is important and there are big goals.

“We want to win everything, so when one game is finished, you need to focus on the next. Every game you play at Celtic is big.”

ON THE RUN…Moritz Bauer races down the Livi touchline.

Elhamed was brought in to replace Mikael Lustig after boss Neil Lennon found himself short of cover in the No.2 berth with Costa Rican Cristian Gamboa also quitting at the end of his contract.

Moritz Bauer was brought in on a season-long loan from Stoke City and Dutch teenager Jeremie Frimpong, signed in August from Manchester City, made an impressive debut in the 5-0 Betfred League Cup quarter-final victory over Partick Thistle last month.

Elhamed added: “Competition in the squad is very important. It gives you more motivation to play and show your best at all times.

“Moritz is a good player and a good guy. It is good to have a strong squad.

“Every player wants to play all the time, but you know that it’s not always possible. I need to take it in the right way if I don’t play and then show my attitude when I get back in.”

Next up for the champions is the visit of Ross County in the Premiership on Saturday with Serie A outfit Lazio due on Europa League busines on Thursday.

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