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  • John Kennedy: We’re on track for further success this season

    John Kennedy: We’re on track for further success this season

    By: Joe Donnelly on 15 Jan, 2019 10:01

  • CELTIC return to action on Saturday (January 19), when Brendan Rodgers’ side welcome Airdrieonians to Paradise in the fourth round of the Scottish Cup. The game marks the start of the Hoops’ defence of the trophy, and with the League Cup already in the bag, first-team coach John Kennedy is pleased with the team’s progress so far this season.

    The Scottish champions are also top of the Premiership and through to the last 32 of the UEFA Europa League, where they face Spanish side Valencia next month. Kennedy acknowledged the competitiveness of the SPFL this year, but reckons Celtic are on track to deliver more silverware in the second half of the campaign.

    “In terms of competition, there’s a challenge but we’re always challenging ourselves, even if we’re points clear in the league,” Kennedy told this week's Celtic View. “We don’t ever take our foot off the gas or decide we’re comfortable. We always push ourselves and it’s no different this time round.

    “In terms of the first half of the year, people may think Celtic haven’t been quite the same, but we’ve won the League Cup, we’re sitting top of the league and are in the next stage of European football. We’ve achieved the main goals we set ourselves, albeit things might be a bit tighter, but that’s the way football is. It happens sometimes.

    “We’re still in a very strong position and we’re delighted with how the first half of the season has went. Now it’s a case of working on our targets for the second half of the season. We just have to go out, push and deliver on that.

    "The way the first two seasons panned out under Brendan have been terrific. We’ve been in similar positions at this point and hopefully at the end of this season we can say it’s been another successful one.”

    Like Hoops boss Brendan Rodgers, Kennedy described last week’s mid-season training camp in Dubai as worth its weight in gold, and the perfect springboard for success in the latter half of the season.  

    He added: “It was a good week in Dubai. It was nice to get the break just before it and then get back out working again in the warm weather. We’ve been fortunate in the last couple of years to have a lot of quality coaching time out there. Sometimes when you’re back in Scotland with the rain, wind and cold it can make it more difficult to coach.

    “We had a couple of solid hours every morning to get the players working hard. That allowed us to get the fitness topped up and get that sharpness back. It was worth its weight in gold and, hopefully, it’ll stand us in good stead for the second part of the season.”

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