CELTIC’S Israel international defender Hatem Abd Elhamed is NOT concerned with the title challenge from Rangers.

The 28-year-old right-back, who cost £1.6million when he arrived from Hapoel Be’er Sheva in June, was converted to central defence when the Hoops won 2-0 at Ibrox at the start of last month.

Elhamed had to display his versatility as he answered the SOS when Nir Bitton limped off with 20 minutes still to play and Moritz Bauer came on for his debut in the No.2 position.

That victory gave Neil Lennon’s men side the early edge in the Premiership, but five points dropped in successive games against Hibs (1-1) and Livingston (0-2) have seen Steven Gerrard’s outfit take over at the pinnacle and are currently two points ahead.

Elhamed, though, couldn’t care less at what is happening at Ibrox.

The athletic full-back, speaking to the Evening Times, said: “I play for Celtic and I only want to focus on our games.

TAKE A BOW…Ryan Christie celebrates a goal as Hatem Abd Elhamed joins in.

“I don’t want to compare us with another club, I just focus on Celtic.”

Elhamed missed the defeat against Gary Holt’s side before the international break, but hopes to be back when Ross County visit Parkhead on Saturday as the Premiership recommences.

He added: “We have looked very good since the start of the season and there have only been a couple of disappointments.

“We need to keep going this way and keep showing the same attitude and mentality.

“With Celtic, you switch between league and European games very quickly. But we are all professional and we need to deal with that. It’s about switching your mind and mentality.

“The games are not always the same, there are different stadiums and atmospheres all the time. But you always need to go and do your best and try to get three points.

“This is life at a big club. Every game is important and there are big goals.

“We want to win everything so when one game is finished, you need to focus on the next. Every game you play at Celtic is big.”


About Author


Acclaimed author Alex Gordon wrote the biography of Scotland international legend Denis Law, entitled 'King and Country'. He is a former columnist with World Soccer magazine and Scottish correspondent of respected European journal L'Equipe.

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