CELTIC midfielder Stefan Johansen is viewing Sunday’s Scottish League Cup semi-final against Rangers at Hampden as the next step to the domestic treble.
Celtic are top of the Scottish Premiership and still in the William Hill Scottish Cup as they prepare to play their traditional rivals for the first time in three years. The Norway international, 24, will make his first appearance at the national stadium and is aware that the Parkhead men will get one chance to make the final and win what he hopes will be the first of three trophies this season.
Johansen told Celtic’s website: “I’ve never played there but I’ve heard some of the boys say it is a nice ground. I think the atmosphere is going to be great. You can feel it in the whole city. It means a lot for the supporters.
“It’s a semi-final so if you win you’re in the final and we want to win the cup this year.
“If you lose a league game there’s many more to come but with a cup you need to be ready for those 90 minutes and that’s what football is all about. We want to win everything in Scotland this season and we need to go out there on Sunday and show that.”
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It was almost a year ago that Johansen made his first start for Celtic in the 1-0 Premiership win over St Mirren at Parkhead.
After taking a while to settle, the former Stromsgodset player has developed into one of their key players under fellow Norwegian Ronny Deila, mostly playing just behind the main striker.
Johansen admits he has had to get used to the winning mentality at Celtic.
He said: “You learn a lot about Scottish football when you come here and at a club like Celtic you learn about the winning culture.
“A draw or a loss is not good enough and that’s how it should be. That’s what football is all about. You need to be much stronger mentally because every game is a big game and that helps you grow up. Sunday will be tough but that is the next challenge and we are confident we are going to do it.”
Meanwhile, Beram Kayal has thanked Celtic fans for their support and insists the club will always be in his heart after making the switch to English Championship side Brighton.
The Seagulls hope to cut through red tape to be able to hand the Israeli international a debut at Blackpool tomorrow after the FA granted the 26-year-old midfielder a work permit. In four-and-a-half years in Glasgow, Kayal won three Scottish league titles and he admits he will never forget his time there. He said: “I would like to thank the Celtic fans for the tremendous support they gave me throughout my time with the club. They are amazing fans, committed to the team and they were incredibly supportive to me all through my time in Glasgow.
“I will see them all soon. I will be back to watch Celtic in the future – as the club will always be in my heart – and I wish everybody at the club the very best for the future. For now it is time to begin a new chapter in my career with Brighton & Hove Albion, and I am very much looking forward to playing for the supporters here in Brighton.”