Ange Postecoglou has called on his Celtic team to keep improving their performance levels and believes that if they do, Rangers will find it hard to stop them.
The defending champions have begun the season in a strong run of form, winning all five of their league games so far, scoring 21 goals and only conceding once. With many predicting a close title race, the first head-to-head against Rangers will put both teams under the microscope.
Postecoglou has been pleased with how his team is progressing after last season, and his focus is on the performance and trusting that if the team play well then the rewards will follow.
“We have grown into the season and that’s what we are looking for – an improvement in our performance, an improvement in how we do things, and play our football, and overcome whatever challenge we have on Saturday,” he said.
“That gets you three points and you move on to the next challenge.
“Our incentive is to keep performing to the levels we have and keep improving on them.”
The Celtic boss played down the idea that the match would be a battle of wits between him and Rangers counterpart Giovanni van Bronckhorst, insisting that the talent on the field would decide the outcome.
After winning two of his three encounters with the Dutchman’s side last season, he believes the opposition have evolved and will be a fresh challenge at Celtic Park on Saturday lunchtime.
“You assess each team as a separate entity and what you find is they always evolve,” he said. “They have brought in some new players and lost some players. Their basic structure is fairly similar but with new additions it changes slightly because of the qualities the players they have brought in have got.
“We treat every opponent in the same manner in that we analyse them and respect them but ultimately it’s about what we bring to the table and how we can play our football and assert our dominance.
“They are a good side, they were a good side last year and have started the season strongly. From our perspective it’s about performing at the levels we know we can and try and exceed them. When we have done that, irrespective of the opposition, we have been hard to stop, and that will be our challenge again.”