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New Bhoy Dan ready for battle
Published : 17 Aug 2010 08:04:00
Daniel Majstorovic is fully prepared for the demands of playing for Celtic and has vowed to wrest the title back from Old Firm rivals Rangers. The Sweden defender was unveiled at Celtic Park on Monday after completing his move from AEK Athens, who were unable to keep financing his salary. The 33-year-old has immediately realised the importance of preventing Rangers claiming a third successive SPL title. And Neil Lennon's eighth summer signing believes his two-year spell in Greece has given him the ideal grounding in dealing with the expectations of fans. AEK Athens coach Dusan Bajevic was attacked by his own supporters after his team lost a pre-season friendly at Kallithea this month so Majstorovic is unlikely to be fazed by the demands of playing in the Old Firm arena. "Expectations are always high at big clubs, especially from the fans and the media," the Swede said. "This is part of the job and you have to handle it. The derbies between Panathinaikos, AEK Athens, Olympiakos are the same, it's high pressure. "The fans are really, really crazy. Over there it's not football, it is really a religion. I'm used to this kind of pressure and I'm looking forward to it. "Big clubs always have big pressure. You need to get used to it and handle it. The people who can't handle it are not ready to play for a big club." Majstorovic, whose former clubs include Malmo, FC Twente and Basle, knows that Celtic fans demand the championship and the imposing centre-back is determined to deliver. "First of all they will see a player who always gives 100% on the field," he said. "To take back the title for Celtic is the most important thing." The Swede must dislodge either Glenn Loovens or Jos Hooiveld from central defence but he has not left Athens to sit on the bench and he could play in Thursday's Europa League play-off first leg against Utrecht at Celtic Park if Lennon chooses him as his one available addition to his registered 25-man squad. Majstorovic said: "Hopefully I will be part of the team. I'm really looking forward to being part of the team as quickly as possible. "Wherever I have been, I was playing and I was an important player for the team. "I tried to be a leader in the team and I will do the same here. It is a big club with winners in all the positions but I'm still very, very hungry even though I'm 33." Majstorovic completed his move to Celtic seven days after the club first expressed their interest and he is eager to seize his opportunity. He added: "Last week I was focused for the season coming up with AEK Athens. We played very well in pre-season. "I wasn't thinking about this but when you have an opportunity to be part of this massive club with fans all over the world and with a great reputation in Europe, then all the players who have this chance would be proud. I'm here and I'm very happy. "I'm a winner and I want to be part of the team to take back the title. This club should always be looking to win the title. I'm very hungry."