Callum McGregor says Celtic’s league title celebrations on Sunday will be put to the back of their minds as they look to get a positive result at Ibrox and finish the season without an Old Firm defeat.
The Hoops captain has been in inspirational form as he led his side to another Premiership title and added more medals to his already bulging trophy cabinet.
But he insists last Sunday’s success will mean nothing when they come up against Rangers and a hostile Ibrox crowd on Sunday.
Ange Postecoglou’s are unbeaten against their city rivals this campaign with four wins and a draw from the previous five games and the skipper is out to make sure they continue that record in the sixth and final meeting between the pair on Saturday.
He said: “Football moves on, it can leave you behind very quickly and if you don’t get back to the level and sharpen yourself back up you can quite easily be found out so that’s the challenge for us.
“It’s brilliant to go there as champions, we did it with four games to spare which is excellent, but the next challenge is: can we go there and get a positive result from the game and that’s what we will be fully focused on.
“We have to go there and be brave and play our football, in terms of the crowd situation everyone will be against us so we have to go in with a siege mentality and understand what the game looks like from that perspective and give everything we can to get a positive result.”
The champions may have already wrapped the league title up for another season but they still have a potential treble to play for in next month’s Scottish Cup final and a string of records on the line including most points and most wins in the top flight.
The incentive to go unbeaten against Rangers is also something that the Scotland midfielder will hoping to harness when they run out onto the Ibrox pitch knowing there will be no Celtic fans in the stadium.
He continued: “These games are always important throughout the course of every season, we’ve been really strong in this fixture until now and we go there as champions with a bit of confidence behind us as well.
“But we don’t take for granted how difficult the game is going to be, it will be a full house for them and we have to go and try to impose ourselves and take confidence from the results we’ve had, but if we turn up there and don’t give our maximum we can’t expect anything out the game.
“It’s always the same message from us to go into the next game and produce the absolute maximum level we can produce and if we can do that then that will be the consequence of a really successful season.”
McGregor has joined teammates Reo Hatate and Kyogo Furuhashi on a four-man shortlist for PFA Player of the Year alongside Motherwell front man Kevin van Veen.
The 29-year-old, who revealed he voted for Van Veen, says the fact that is voted by fellow professionals makes it a bit extra special.
He said: “It’s always nice to be in the conversation when these individual awards are being handed out, it shows you are doing something right and obviously the PFA one is the player’s union, voted by fellow pros so that’s always a nice one because I think they understand how hard the game can be sometimes.
“So overall, pleased to be nominated.”