Stefan Scepovic believes Celtic will have to remain in top gear for the rest of the season if they are to retain their Scottish Premiership title.
The 24-year-old Serbian striker was given a rare start against Kilmarnock at Rugby Park on Monday night and scored the clinching goal in the convincing 2-0 win that took the visitors to within one point of leaders Aberdeen with a game in hand.
It was a powerful performance by the champions after dropping five out of six points in their previous two matches.
The Celtic Park squad flew out from Glasgow yesterday for their winter training camp in Gran Canaria, where they will play PSV Eindhoven on Saturday and Sparta Prague on Tuesday.
Kris Commons, back to his best and hitting the crossbar twice against Kilmarnock, has been left behind on compassionate leave following the death of his uncle in England.
The Dons have the chance to re-establish a four-point lead over Ronny Deila’s side when they take on St Mirren in Paisley on Saturday and put the pressure back on Celtic.
Scepovic claims Celtic will have to keep up the form they showed against Kilmarnock when they resume the title race at Hamilton on 17 January.
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“We need to be 100 per cent because nobody will just give us the game,” he said.
“When teams play against Celtic they always try to get some points.
“Everyone expects us to be 15 points clear in the league because we are Celtic.
“But a lot of players and the manager came to the club in the summer so we need a little time to get to know each other and every game we are getting better. We have not had the luck in some of the games we have played. You seen the chances that we created against Kilmarnock in the first-half but we could not finish them off.
“It was important that we scored the second goal because that finished the game.”
Meanwhile, banned Celtic winger Aleksandar Tonev is set to be handed some game time in Gran Canaria, according to coach John Kennedy.
The 24-year-old Bulgarian, on loan from Aston Villa, is currently serving a seven-match suspension after being found guilty of racially abusing Aberdeen defender Shay Logan.
“He’s part of our squad albeit he’s serving a suspension just now,” said Kennedy explained yesterday.
“If he’s eligible to play in these games then we’ll certainly look to use him for fitness and to keep him going.
“The training time will be very important for him at this stage.”
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