Celtic calm as Rangers lurk
Celtic defender Thomas Rogne says the Scottish Premier League leaders are staying grounded as they aim to continue their winning streak against Dundee United at Parkhead on Saturday.
The Hoops have a two-point lead at the top of the table after trailing Rangers by 15 points at one stage. After winning their past ten league matches in a row, Neil Lennon's side progressed to the fifth round of the Scottish Cup last weekend to keep their dreams of a treble-winning season alive.
However, Norwegian defender Rogne says his team-mates are not looking too far ahead and are fully focused on just continuing their winning momentum. "It is not about maintaining the lead, it's about getting the three points," Rogne said. "It is still January, there is a long way to go and we are not thinking about the league or the title, it's just the next game and three points.
"We always believed that we could turn it around. It might have happened quicker than we thought. In mid-November we were 15 points behind or something like that, but obviously results have gone our way. But things change quickly in football. So we need to be alert and take it game by game."
The Hoops have been dealt a blow with the news that Israeli midfielder Beram Kayal has been ruled out for the rest of the season, but Swedish defender Mikael Lustig is available after arriving at the club this week.
Rangers, meanwhile, will have the chance to go top again and heap the pressure on the Hoops if they can win away to St Johnstone in Saturday's early kick-off.
One player desperate to be involved is striker David Healy. The Northern Ireland international has been a bit-part player since joining Rangers last year, but an injury crisis at the Ibrox club has seen Healy start and score in the past two games.
And Healy is glad to at last be making a contribution at the Old Firm club. "It's nice to be a part of it. I always knew I wasn't going to be a first-choice striker but I've wanted to make a contribution," the striker said.
"I've been here for 12 months and I've waited for my chance so to come in and make a little bit of an impact has been nice. I said last year I wanted to score goals that make a difference and it has been good to get us off the mark in our last two games.
"Strikers take confidence from scoring goals and playing well and it's hard when you're only getting five or ten minutes here and there for you to build momentum. I feel as though I'm moving in the right direction though and I'm determined to prove I can keep doing a job for this club."
Elsewhere on Saturday, Hearts, who have gone five games without defeat, could claim third spot with a win over St Mirren. Bottom club Dunfermline host second bottom Hibernian in a relegation dogfight at East End Park and third-placed Motherwell will be without Stephen Hughes, who left the club this week, against Inverness Caledonian Thistle.