Celtic head for Tayside on Sunday to face relegation-threatened Dundee at Dens Park with the home straight not yet in sight but certainly on the horizon, with nine games left in the Premiership campaign.
Interim manager Neil Lennon will ensure his side are fully focused on the immediate job in hand – the securing of all three points against Jim McIntyre’s team who currently lie eleventh in the division with just eighteen points from 29 games, just one point clear of basement club St. Mirren and automatic relegation, having suffered defeat in their last three outings.
Celtic’s last visit to Dens Park – under Brendan Rodgers – produced an emphatic 5-0 win back in October whilst just before Christmas a Parkhead rematch ended in a comfortable 3-0 win for the home side.
Callum McGregor is back in full training and could feature whilst Filip Benkovic, Oliver Ntcham, Ryan Christie and Tom Rogic are all making good progress following lengthy injury absences – but are unlikely to be involved this weekend.
Anything less than another Celtic win would cause ructions at both ends of the table as well as being less than the large travelling support expect.
And Lennon outlined the problems associated with a packed fixture schedule.
“The players are basically playing non-stop football every year. Over the last few years, these players have got to the finals of every competition and they’ve won the League, which means you’re looking at sixty-odd games per season.
“There isn’t an abundance of time in the close season - so it’s important that when you see signs of fatigue, both physically and mentally, that you let the players get away for a couple of days and come back refreshed.”