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Alonso: Celts must be at their best against Hibs

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By Colette Carr

Celtic must be at their best if they want to continue their winning streak at Hibs this evening insists Fran Alonso, as his side ready themselves for another tough top four outing. 

The Celts travel to Edinburgh just five days after coming out of the first Glasgow Derby of the season victorious, but despite the quick turnaround, Alonso’s players are raring to go.

“It changes things slightly - we go straight into matchday -3, instead of matchday +2 or +3, but it’s great to have a game on a Friday, live on TV and we’re very excited about that. We are in a very good state physically and in terms of morale because of the good result at the weekend,” he told.

“We’re playing a very tough opposition but we are going into it very excited. It’s a game we can’t wait to play.”

Celtic’s 1-0 win over Rangers last Sunday proved an enjoyable one as Celtic made it three wins in a row and chalked up a third cleansheet out of four games played. But despite the media dubbing the result as an eyebrow-raiser, the manager is keen to reiterate that it isn’t a statement from his side, with a long way still to go.

“It was an even game even though we had more chances and I think we were more clinical in both areas, but it could have gone either way because they are a top side. 

“When we play a top four side, it is the little details that will decide the balance for one team or the other. For me, it isn’t really a statement - before lockdown when we beat City we knew we were the better team on the day and we just beat Rangers, but that doesn’t mean we are the better team, it just means we were on the day. We have to keep focussed to make sure we are better than them on the day again when we next play them,” he explained.

Tonight’s hosts welcome Celtic off the back of a 1-0 defeat to Rangers and a narrow 3-2 loss to league leaders Glasgow City, a recent run that could make them a very dangerous counterpart as they look to turn their luck around.

“You could say their self-esteem may not be that high as they are coming off the back of back to back defeats which is not normal for a team like Hibs, but on the other hand I’m struggling to think if they have ever lost three games in a row, so they will want to put things right as soon as possible,” Alonso said.

“They are at home and are a very good team so obviously we will try to make it difficult, but we know if we aren’t fully focused and don’t play at our best, it will be very difficult to take something from the game because they are a very good side. 

“But our job is to make sure we take something from it and concentrate for 90 minutes and work hard.”

Celtic travel to Ainslie Park to face Hibernian on Friday 20 November in a 7:35pm kick-off. Watch live on BBC Alba.


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