South Korean international Ki Sung-Yeung says Celtic’s narrow 2-1 victory against Aberdeen was a huge result for the club as the Hoops halted a run of three matches without a win.
The midfielder scored the first goal in the 17th minute before firing in the free-kick that led to Charlie Mulgrew’s winner after Ryan Jack, who was later sent off for his second bookable offence, had equalised for Aberdeen.
It was Celtic’s first win in the league for a month following a defeat by Hearts and a draw with Kilmarnock and keeps the Parkhead club 10 points behind league leaders Rangers, who won 2-0 away to Hearts.
And Ki has told his team-mates they will need to go on a winning run until they face their Old Firm rivals at Celtic Park in December if they are to have a chance of catching the Ibrox club.
“This was a massive game for us as in recent games we haven’t got a result in the league,” the South Korean said.
“It doesn’t matter if we don’t play well as we just want to get the three points and we will want to keep going after this game.
“I think we should win more games and we have wasted some points in recent games. We have a lot of games left. We still believe that we can win the league and we are in the Europa League and have the League Cup as well.
“The Rangers results don’t matter to us and we don’t worry about the points gap. We just want to concentrate on our games and we want to win every league game until we play Rangers at Celtic Park in December; that is our target.”
Celtic face Hibernian at Easter Road in the League Cup quarter-final on Wednesday and then host the same side in the league on Saturday before welcoming Rennes to Celtic Park in the Europa League next Thursday.
Ki says wins in these games could kick-start Celtic’s season and he urged his team-mates to start coping better with the pressures of playing at the Glasgow giants.
“I think the games we will play over the next week will be very important. It is a tough schedule but I think the boys will be stronger as we go on,” the midfielder said.
“We have two games with Hibs and we don’t want to lose the League Cup as well.
“The league is very important for us and we just want to keep chasing Rangers and before the international break we want to get wins against Hibs and Motherwell.
“I think we just lost a little bit of confidence recently as we dropped some points in games we should have won.
“Also, some of the boys have been tired, but this happens and we should overcome everything as it is a very good experience for everyone, playing in the Europa League against very decent sides.
“We get pressure because that is what you get at big teams. There is always pressure from the fans as they have high expectations of everyone and also we have a responsibility to show the fans that we can win the league.
“Every single game we get pressure but it doesn’t matter as we have to handle it as every one of us has the experience as we are international players. That is something we have to overcome as well.”
Earlier on Sunday, Rangers had stretched their lead over Motherwell in second place to nine points with a 2-0 win over Hearts at Tynecastle courtesy of goals from Steven Naismith and Nikica Jelavic.