Shaun Maloney is ready for the big test ahead as his team travels to Celtic Park on Monday evening in the cinch Premiership.
The match against Celtic will be our first game in just over three weeks due to the extended winter break as we continue to develop and thrive under the management of Maloney.
We have won both our games under the guidance of the former Belgium Assistant Manager, and there’s been a notable difference in the style of play and statistics surrounding our performances.
The extended break has allowed extra time and focus on Maloney’s football philosophy, and he explained what they’ve been doing during the break.
“We given the players a period of time off because the schedule that they had was very, very hard. Some of them needed to refresh and take time because we've played that many games.
“After that, I think it gave us a really good period to get a lot of conditioning done and they worked extremely hard. All players had very difficult sessions, numerous sessions each day.
“Some was more conditioning, some was more tactical, so it was really important to actually get that time on the training pitch. It was double, triple sessions.
“We were also able to show lots of things that we've done really well in the first couple of games and maybe some things that we needed to keep improving, some real fundamentals to us.
“The players were really receptive to what we were asking them to do and were back raring to go.”
After those sessions, Maloney can’t wait to see how his players perform against one of the most in-form teams in the cinch Premiership.
Domestically, Celtic are unbeaten in their last 17 domestic matches and have fine-tuned a new style brought in by Ange Postecoglou in the summer.
“I’m really looking forward to it, it’s an amazing challenge for the team.
“Really it’s just the third game for us since I’ve come in, but we want to try and implement and put our style of play on the game. I’m really look forward to seeing how our team does.
“It’s a huge challenge, but a challenge that we have to prepare for and try and win.”
Despite the new signings, Maloney will be missed a few players due to a number of different reasons.
New man Elias Melkersen is unavailable as we wait for confirmation on his work permit, Ewan Henderson can’t play against his parent club, and both Paul McGinn and Ryan Porteous are suspended.
Good news, though, Kyle Magennis is back in training after a long injury lay-off.