Ajer: I can han­dle de­mand­ing fix­ture list

Evening Times - - SPORT -

CELTIC de­fender Kristof­fer Ajer (left) has pleaded with man­ager Neil Len­non not to ring the changes for Thurs­day night’s match against Stade Ren­nais as they look to seal top spot in their Europa League group.

Ajer wants to keep the mo­men­tum flow­ing as Celtic look to ex­tend a win­ning run that now stretches to 10 matches in all com­pe­ti­tions fol­low­ing a rou­tine 4-0 vic­tory over Liv­ingston on Sat­ur­day.

And the de­fender in­sists that no­body will be look­ing for a rest among the Celtic squad de­spite a pun­ish­ing run of games be­tween now and the win­ter break.

“Thurs­day is a mas­sive game,”

Ajer said. “We want to win the group and we can do it if we take the three points against Rennes.

“It’s im­por­tant for us on both counts in the fact that we have am­bi­tions to go far in Europe and if we win the group, we would meet a sec­ond-placed team, but we also want to just keep win­ning and ev­ery­one wants to play.

“You want to be part of it and keep the rhythm. That’s the most im­por­tant part. Ev­ery­one is fit and ea­ger to play, es­pe­cially when you are in that rhythm and ev­ery­one is en­joy­ing play­ing the matches.”

Mean­while, the Nor­we­gian has one eye on a Euro 2020 play-off fi­nal against his adopted home­land in March, and a pos­si­ble match-up against some of his Celtic team-mates.

“Ob­vi­ously, we [Nor­way] wanted two home games, but we have to play Ser­bia first be­fore we could face Scot­land, and they are go­ing to be a very tough op­po­nent when that time comes,” he said.

“Of course, there are around 300 games for Celtic be­fore then, so I have to fo­cus on them first!

“Right now, we are team-mates, but we know that when the time comes in March, we might be play­ing against each other and it’ll be com­pet­i­tive. That’s nor­mal and af­ter it is all over, we will be friends again.”

Cal­lum McGre­gor draws first blood for Celtic in their vic­tory over Liv­ingston

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