Celtic looking to continue domestic dominance and make impact in Europe

Celtic travel to Rugby Park on Sunday to begin their defence of the League Cup.

Celtic star Matt O’Riley says the Scottish champions are looking to continue their dominance of domestic competitions while also making their mark in the Champions League this season.

Last season’s treble winners come up against Kilmarnock at Rugby Park on Sunday as they begin their defence of the League Cup and they will use their opponent’s victory over Rangers as a warning to avoid complacency ahead of the game on Sunday.

The Ayrshire team beat Michael Beale’s new-look side in the opening weekend of the Premiership and will now host the other side of the Old Firm in front of their home crowd.

And the Hoops midfielder says they will be ready for a tough game, but believes they will have enough in the locker to produce another win.

Celtic conquered Scottish football again last season with a clean sweep of all three domestic trophies and O’Riley says they want to continue that again this season while also making an impact in Europe when they take part in the group stages of the continent’s premier competition.

He said: “It’s definitely a tough draw, respectfully if the game is at home it’s probably easier than playing away because it is a tough place to go and we know that from past experiences.

“Other teams have also found it tough there, but on the other hand we have enough to win the game but it’s going to be one we have to be more than ready for.

“I think it’s about constantly wanting to improve, both individually and as a team, we have also got other competitions like the Champions League that we would like to improve on from last season, albeit our performances were pretty good but where we finished in the group wasn’t so I think making our mark in Europe is a target for everybody.

“But at the same time we also want to be as successful as possible in Scotland, so that will be the aim.

“We know the demands and pressures of being at Celtic, you have to win every game and we are well aware of that. I think it’s important just to continue that winning mentality and trying to win every single game because that carries you on to the next game from a momentum point of view.

“We are at Celtic so you shouldn’t accept anything less than to win and I think we should have the same mindset in the Champions League as well.

“We always expect a tough test at Rugby Park and we need to be as prepared as we can be, last season when we won 5-0 there we took our chances really well and that will be really important again. If you score the first goal at a place like that then it helps a lot but at the same time if they score first then I think we have enough in our toolbox to still win the game.

“But as much as the likes of Celtic and Rangers are expected to win all their games it is a lot easier said than done, because winning football matches is never an easy thing to do no matter who you are playing against.”

O’Riley has started the new season well with two goals in two games as the champions opened their campaign with a 100% record with wins over Ross County and Aberdeen.

The Denmark under-21 international has been flourishing under the guidance of Brendan Rodgers and he is looking forward to continuing his good form.

He said: “I don’t anything has changed massively, to be honest, maybe I feel better from a mental perspective, which always helps, I’m feeling really good in general.

“We’ve got a slightly new style and my role has changed slightly, but nothing too crazy, I’ve just got myself into the right positions and stayed calm and that’s what it has come down to.

“The manager’s style of management has been good, if there is something that I need to work on or that needs to be addressed then he will pick me up on it and we’ll go through it, especially on the training pitch.

“The other day he pulled me in and went through some little details that will help me and I think he’s good with most players in dealing with them from a personal perspective.

“Naturally that is going to help on the pitch because you will feel slightly better.

“I think I have been lucky to have worked with successful managers throughout my career so far and feel like I have been developing every season.”

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