Glasgow (AFP) – Celtic defender Cristian Gamboa says the runaway Premiership leaders will not be seeking revenge when they take on the only side to take a point off them this season Inverness Caledonian Thistle on Wednesday.
Celtic are strolling to the defence of their league crown — which will be their sixth successive title — holding a 24 point advantage over Aberdeen at the top of the Scottish Premiership.
Brendan Rodgers’ side are unbeaten in 32 domestic matches so far this season and have won their past 21 league matches in a row to leave them just four short of the club record set by Martin O’Neill’s side in 2004.
The only blot on the champions’ copy book this season was a 2-2 draw in Inverness last September where a last minute Alex Fisher goal saw Celtic drop points for the only time this season.
Costa Rican international Gamboa –- whose side thrashed Inverness 6-0 on Scottish Cup duty earlier in February -– says the Celtic players will not be thinking of retribution for that.
“We’re not thinking about revenge -— just the three points as we aim to be top of the table at the end of the season. I think it’s football —- sometimes it can happen that you draw,” said the 27-year-old defender, who has won over 50 caps for his country.
“After that we realised we had to work harder and since the Inverness game we’ve been on our run.
“It was the only game we drew but we have kept a good run going ever since.”
– ‘He can go to Real Madrid’ –
Celtic are now just 12 games away from an unbeaten league campaign but Gamboa says the players are focusing on titles not records.
“We don’t talk about the unbeaten run. As a group, we don’t think about the record,” he said.
“We just think about three points and going further and further away at the top of the table. I think this is the key to success.
“Before every game the manager tries to get everyone in the same mindset -— to do whatever it takes to win the game. This is the key. We just keep winning.”
Another vital element to Celtic’s success this season has been the outstanding form of French forward Moussa Dembele.
The 20-year-old –- a summer signing from Fulham -– took his tally to 29 for the season with a double in the 2-0 win over Hamilton on Saturday and the striker has been linked with a move to the English Premier League.
Gamboa — who played for West Bromwich Albion in the English Premier League — says the under-21 French international is destined for one of the world’s top clubs.
“He is on fire. Whenever he shoots he is going to score. He is showing everyone he deserves the price that has been put on him,” Gamboa said.
“The first goal he scored on Saturday was world class. Just imagine what he’s going to be like when he’s 25 when he is a more mature player and he has more experience. I think he will be really good, better than he is just now.
“He can go to Real Madrid or wherever he wants. He is a top class player.”
Elsewhere, rivals Rangers will be looking for their first win in five games when they take on St Johnstone at Ibrox.
Fixtures (1945GMT kick-off)
Dundee v Partick Thistle, Hearts v Ross County, Inverness CT v Celtic, Rangers v St Johnstone
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