Celtics Johansen targets home title win

23 March 2014 12:47

Celtic midfielder Stefan Johansen wants to wrap up the title as quickly as possible as he helped fire the Hoops to within four points of a third successive Scottish Premiership championship.

The Norwegian midfielder scored his first goal for the club as the Hoops defeated St Mirren 3-0 at Parkhead to remain 24 points clear of Aberdeen, who have a game in hand, with eight games remaining.

The Glasgow giants could now seal the championship away to Partick Thistle on Wednesday night if Aberdeen fail to win at Ross County.

And while admitting it would be nice for the supporters if they could clinch the title at a packed Parkhead when they face Ross County next Saturday, Johansen said the quicker the title could be claimed the better.

"We have an away game in midweek and then hopefully we can win the league at home next weekend against Ross County so it's an important week for us and we've started it well," Johansen said.

"It would be good for the fans to win it at home next weekend but I hope we win it as soon as possible to be honest.

"It would be good to just get it done but I think it would be a fantastic game here if we have the chance to win it here in front of our own fans, who are great."

Johansen is hoping to add a Scottish title to the Norwegian championship medal he earned with Stromsgodset in November last year before sealing a £2M move to Celtic in January.

- winning in Celtic's DNA -

"It's going to be special for me. Football is about winning; that's one thing you learn when you come to Celtic as winning is in the DNA here," Johansen said.

"It's fantastic to be here and I want to win as many titles as I can get with Celtic.

"I am enjoying my time here. Obviously I've had a good start as I've been playing a lot and you have to take your chance when you get it.

"I just need to keep working harder every day but I feel like I've settled in well. It was difficult for me at the start but I'm starting to understand the players better and how they want the ball so it's easier to play with them now."

The Hoops were comfortable winners against St Mirren at Celtic Park with the offside flag denying them on three occasions while the visitors also made two goal-line clearances.

Leigh Griffiths had an effort ruled out before Johansen gave Celtic the lead a minute before the break with a diving header.

Griffiths made it 2-0 in the 61st minute as he rounded off a great move before Anthony Stokes added a third in stoppage time.

"I am delighted with the performance especially in the second half," Celtic manager Neil Lennon said.

"It could have been any score today and they had two goal-line clearances as well.

"We're playing great attacking football at the minute and we're looking forward to every game now. The amount of chances we are creating just now is very pleasing as well.

"We were a wee bit wasteful in front of goal at times but I can't ask any more as it's another comprehensive win and another clean sheet.

"Winning the title is our focus at the moment, as is progressing the team. You can see green shoots of improvement as we go along and probably we'll not want the season to end even though it's been a very long season."

Source: AFP

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