Rogne is sure that Bhoys hold
the title aces now
Thomas Rogne insisted the destiny of the SPL title is back in Celtic”s own hands after their astonishing fightback from the dead.
The Norwegian defender says victory over Rangers at Parkhead on Wednesday night – after Neil Lennon”s men whittled away their great rivals” 15-point lead to just one – would not only see Celtic leapfrog the champions at the summit for the start of 2012 but place extreme psychological pressure on Ally McCoist”s team.
Leap of faith: Thomas Rogne challenges St Johnstone”s David McCracken
The Parkhead side approach the derby in search of their ninth successive SPL win since a goalless draw with Hibs in October.
In contrast, the champions have looked shaky in losing two of their last five games, with shock defeats at Kilmarnock and St Mirren.
Following Celtic”s 2-1 win against Killie on Christmas Eve, coupled with Rangers” 2-1 loss in Paisley the same day, 21-year-old Rogne believes the time is right for Lennon”s men to overtake the Ibrox men.
“The results on December 24 were the best Christmas present we could get. Everything is in our hands now,” he said.
“Suddenly, we are just one point behind Rangers and their lead has been reversed pretty fast.
“This Old Firm game is very important, not just because we can go top of the table, but it”s also crucial for the rest of the season. Psychologically, this game means a lot in terms of how the battle between the two teams will go.”
Rogne dropped out of the Celtic line-up last month due to a hamstring injury but is now back fully fit, replacing Daniel Majstorovic after the Swede broke his cheekbone against St Johnstone and coming on as a late substitute against Kilmarnock.
Feeling the heat: Ally McCoist
The Norwegian international believes he is now back to his best and feels he could be in line for an Old Firm start.
“Even though I was only in the treatment room for two to three weeks, it was long enough for others to come into the team and they did well,” added Rogne.
“That meant I lost my place but now Daniel Majstorovic is injured, so it could be I get a chance. I feel I”m back to where I was before I was injured and that my form is pretty good.
“I came on against Kilmarnock in the final few minutes to help us secure victory. It was a difficult game and, although it was an exciting final few minutes (after Kilmarnock scored), I felt we were always in control.
“It was a bit unusual to be playing on Christmas Eve but it is a lot easier to enjoy the festivities when you win.
“My family are here in Scotland, so afterwards it was dinner and traditional Norwegian Christmas.”
Meanwhile, reports in Belgium claim Celtic are tracking Groningen defender Jonas Ivens as they ponder options for centre-back reinforcements in next month”s transfer window.
Ivens moved to Holland from Mechelen last year and is rated in the 1million bracket.