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  • Chris Davies: Every game is a challenge for us

    Chris Davies: Every game is a challenge for us

    By: Tony Connelly on 17 Nov, 2017 15:31

  • A TRIP to Dingwall to face Ross County is next up for Celtic this weekend, and the 4-0 win over the Staggies at Paradise earlier in the season will have given the Hoops a measure of their opponents who, like every other team in Scotland, will be desperate to try and end the unbeaten run.

    Speaking to the Celtic View, assistant manager Chris Davies explained that the mindset of the squad leaves no room for complacency and the team will continue to approach each game as they have done so far this season, regardless of whether they write a new page in the history book with each 90 minutes played.

    “Hopefully we can extend the run, starting with Ross County, but that’s not how we approach games,” he said. “Playing for Celtic brings an expectation in every game, regardless of whether there’s a record or not, so that won’t affect us in any way.

    “It’s about performing, focusing on the game and the game-plan. Hopefully that means we’ll win games and continue the run but it’s really not something that will affect us moving forward. We’re proud to have stepped past the previous record and now it’s about business as usual.”

    The success has only served to intensify the challenge, however, and the squad must now ready itself for four games in 11 days with two Premiership fixtures, the League Cup final and a UEFA Champions League tie away to Paris Saint-Germain.

    This is by no means an unfamiliar challenge for Brendan Rodgers who has utilised his squad throughout this season while maintaining the high level of performance and success that Celtic fans have become accustomed to.

    “It’s the busiest period of the season coming up in terms of the sheer volume of games,” said Chris Davies. “We have 13 games in a six-week period, which works out about a game every three or four days, so we’re going to have to use the whole squad and make a big push now towards the winter break.

    “That’s something which maybe hasn’t been mentioned as much but it’s definitely a factor in football. To maintain the high level of performance for such a long period packed with so many games is another positive for us.

    “The manager has installed a culture whereby the players are very much a squad of players rather than just a team. The mentality is such that the players who aren’t starting a game are working hard on their fitness and their own development and their game so that when they do step into the team they’re ready and prepared.

    “That mentality is ultimately set by the manager and the culture he has established. That’s allowed us to change players and different players have game-time and perform at a high level. All the players in the squad are valued and feel valued by the manager and the staff.

    “That’s important as well because each and every one of them is important and unique and we need them all. The success of this run is testament to that.

    “All the best teams have competition for places and that’s exactly what we’ve got here. You look through the positions and each position has good competition because there’s quality throughout the squad. That naturally helps players maintain their level and it’s very important.”

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