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  • Ajer determined to be part of Scottish Cup adventure

    Ajer determined to be part of Scottish Cup adventure

    By: Tony Connelly on 02 Mar, 2018 14:47

  • LAST season Kristoffer Ajer watched Celtic win the Scottish Cup from his home in Norway but this year the young Hoops defender is relishing the opportunity to be involved in helping Brendan Rodgers’ side on their journey through the competition.

    Having defeated Brechin City and then Partick Thistle, Celtic are now preparing to meet Morton in the quarter final of the Scottish Cup at Paradise tomorrow (Saturday).

    With Wednesday’s Scottish Premiership game against Dundee postponed, Celtic come into the game fresh off the back of their 2-0 win over title rivals Aberdeen.

    The adverse weather conditions brought much of the country to a standstill during the week and disrupted the regular training routine for the Scottish champions. However, that didn’t stop 19-year-old Ajer preparing for the upcoming game which he hopes will take him one step closer to realising his own Scottish Cup dream.

    “I went to the gym that’s close to my apartment yesterday and did some work,” said Ajer at Celtic Park today (Friday), and added: “We were all sent a training programme by text message so we still managed to do something. It’s important to get the legs working so that I’m ready for tomorrow.

    “This is actually nice weather, I must say. In Norway right now, it’s about -15. But obviously we get more snow back there so I can understand why it’s causing a big problem here.”

    Having spent much of last season on loan at Kilmarnock, Ajer was not part of the treble-winning Invincibles' squad that ended the 2016/17 season in dramatic fashion with a last-gasp goal in the Scottish Cup final against Aberdeen.

    “I watched the final back home in Norway,” he said. “Kilmarnock’s season ended seven days before, so I went back there. It was a fantastic cup final and a great end to the game as well so it was a well-deserved way to finish off the season.”

    Since the end of his loan spell, Ajer has established himself as a key player in the Hoops’ backline and is now hoping that he and his new team-mate, Jack Hendry can experience Scottish Cup success first-hand this season.

    “I’ve always been working really hard and I believed in myself that I was capable of playing for Celtic,” said the Norwegian defender. “I learned from a great squad and coaches last year and I’m continuing to learn and develop myself as a player.

    “I learned so much from all the players. From talking with them during the games and they tell me what I can do better. I watch clips and analyse my performances so I can improve and learn everything about the central-defensive position.

    “I think Jack has done really well since coming in too. He’s embedded himself into the squad and he’s a good player who’s learning a lot from the gaffer so he’s playing really well.”

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