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Kristoffer Ajer says Celtic must win games in hand to put pressure on Rangers

Rangers v Celtic – Scottish Premiership – Ibrox Stadium
(Image credit: Andrew Milligan)

Kristoffer Ajer knows winning their three Scottish Premiership games in hand is the minimum requirement for Celtic in their pursuit of runaway leaders Rangers.

The Light Blues moved 19 points clear of their Old Firm rivals at the top of the table with a 1-0 win over Neil Lennon’s men at Ibrox on Saturday, where the visitors played the last half-hour with 10 men after defender Nir Bitton was sent off.

Celtic’s quest to make it 10 successive titles in a row is now in some jeopardy and Ajer eyed up the three matches they have over Steven Gerrard’s men.

The Norway defender, speaking from the Parkhead club’s mid-season training camp in Dubai, told CelticTV: “The three league games in hand is obviously good for us.

“We know that we have to take nine points in those three games but we also know that we have to win pretty much all the games going forward.

“We are excited for the challenge and really looking forward to it.

“We are disappointed about the (Rangers) defeat.

“We are a club who are expected to win every single game and the players  expect it as well.

“We are hugely disappointed but we just have to keep performing, and try to perform better in the second half of the season.”

One of the pluses for Lennon’s side recently has been the performances of  Ivorian Ismaila Soro and fellow midfielder David Turnbull, who have broken into the team, and Ajer is impressed.

He said: “They have been great. They have been training really well since they came in. They have been developing really well.

“Soro’s English is spot on now, he is a  great guy around the dressing room and David has come in, it is easy for him, he’s a Scottish guy who knows almost all the guys from the national  team.

“He is a great lad as well and to see them perform has been a delight.”