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Nir Bitton's happy that the bar is set high for Celtic

By Ronnie Esplin

Published 13/02/2016

Feeling the heat: Nir Bitton expects pressure at Celtic
Feeling the heat: Nir Bitton expects pressure at Celtic

Nir Bitton believes Celtic are judged by standards that even the best teams in the world fail to reach.

Manager Ronny Deila found himself under pressure after losing 3-1 in the League Cup semi-final to Ross County at Hampden Park and going down 2-1 to Scottish Premiership title rivals Aberdeen at Pittodrie.

A 2-0 Scottish Cup fifth-round win over Lowland League side East Kilbride last Sunday did little to appease his doubters with the Norwegian stating that defeats left him feeling as "though the police are standing outside your door in the morning, waiting to take you in because you have done something criminal."

Ahead of the visit of Ross County in the league today (3pm), where Celtic will look to open up a three-point gap on the Dons at the top of the table, Bitton spoke about the constant pressure of playing for a club which has to deal with high expectations.

The 24-year-old Israel midfielder said: "When you play for a club like Celtic you always have pressure on you. It doesn't matter if it's the Scottish league or European competition.

"It was a tough week, two disappointing results, first the semi-final then the Aberdeen game, but when you play for a club like Celtic you always want to win and bounce back.

"If you look at the biggest teams in the world, you always have tough times.

"If you look at Chelsea or Real Madrid, they don't even win every game.

"Sometimes you have this kind of thing. The most important thing is to bounce back and win the next game.

"We always look forward, we have an important game on Saturday and want to win it."

Bitton is looking to make up for the semi-final disappointment against the Staggies who he thinks, like most teams who visit Parkhead, will set out to hit on the break.

He said: "They played us in the semi-final and they beat us.

"It's in the past now, we just want to win on Saturday. This is a different game.

"I think especially when we play at Celtic Park teams play deeper and try to close the games.

"It's very important for us to open the game and put pressure on them and play the way we want to play.

"Hopefully we will put in a good performance on Saturday and win the game."

Belfast Telegraph

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