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Celtic: Hoops are hungry to post early title warning

By Ronnie Esplin

Celtic manager Ronny Deila insists his team's visit to Aberdeen today (12.30pm) comes far too early in the season to be of real significance to the Ladbrokes Premiership title race.

The Hoops won all four meetings between the clubs last term on the way to their fourth successive title - the first under the Norwegian - but Deila admits the Dons have improved.

Last season's runners-up have won all five league games and are going for a club-record sixth victory, which has served to increase belief that the challenge presented to the champions by Derek McInnes' men will be more formidable than the one which left them 17 points adrift in the last campaign.

However, Deila, whose side travel north on 16 points - one ahead of Aberdeen, having played a game more - played down the importance of the match.

"Last year we started talking about the title race in January. Now we start in September," he said. "We're going to play a lot of matches and nothing will be finished after Saturday but the team who wins that game will put themselves in a better position and get energy and confidence for the next games.

"I think Aberdeen are a better team this year than last year because they have consistency.

"They have brought in a couple of good players as well, they have kept their team and have more experience than last year."

Meanwhile, Celtic have announced a pre-tax loss of £3.95million last season.

The deficit for the year ending June 30 followed a profit of more than £11million in the 2013-14 campaign.

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