Commons urges Celtic focus

Celtic winger not getting carried away

Commons: Staying focused

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Celtic winger Kris Commons has warned his team-mates to make sure they perform to their peak in every game.

Shaun Maloney is set to return to a nearly-full squad following a four-month lay-off as Neil Lennon's men look to extend their two-point lead over Rangers in the SPL when they host St Mirren on Saturday.

Celtic are odds-on favourites to regain the SPL trophy with every leading bookmaker given the relative strengths of the Old Firm playing pools.

Rangers did not have enough fit players to fill their bench for last weekend's home defeat by Dundee United, while the likes of Paddy McCourt and Niall McGinn could not find a place among the substitutes as Celtic beat Hibs 3-1 on Wednesday.

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However, Commons knows Celtic can take nothing for granted and has challenged his team-mates to keep their focus and meet those high expectations, having slipped up in the 2-1 defeat by Rangers in the recent Co-operative Insurance Cup final.

He said: "I think on our day we're a good outfit but there have certainly been performances this year that have warranted the gaffer giving us a roasting, the Motherwell game comes to mind.

"It's important we keep our levels high and keep ticking over, especially at this stage of the season.

"Our main goal is the league and a lot of players didn't turn up at the cup final, so that kind of kicks you up the backside to get your mind in gear.

"That's the type of motivation we perhaps needed to seal the deal in the championship, that it's not all going to be rosy.

"We went into the cup final as favourites and came out pretty much battered and bruised and beaten."

Mjallby

Assistant manager Johan Mjallby is optimistic that the improving condition of Celtic's squad can help them reach their peak in the run-in.

"That's the dream scenario and I hope so," the Swede said. "It's a luxury that way, even if it's a big player for us, if we see someone is tired and not really, really performing, we have a good chance to change things and you know you have a good player knocking on the door.

"So it helps now when we have more or less everyone fit and healthy and raring to go.

"It's only Daniel (Majstorovic) now and Andreas Hinkel who are not in the squad.

"This competition is going to be good for us in the run-in because if you don't perform, someone else is going to be knocking on the door.

"Hopefully the players will raise their game with that competition."

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