Kris Commons delights in Celtic double strike

Kris Commons
Commons scored twice in Celtic's 4-0 win against Kilmarnock

Celtic's Kris Commons believes his double strike against Kilmarnock was a timely boost ahead of Sunday's vital encounter with Rangers.

Celtic eased to a 4-0 win at Rugby Park, narrowing the gap at the top of the table to one point.

"It should give us confidence for Sunday's game, which will be tough," said the midfielder.

"Rangers put the pressure on us to win, so the manager made it clear that we had to get out of the blocks quickly."

Gary Hooper set up Commons to fire in the opener after just four minutes and the Scotland international doubled his tally after the half-hour mark with a fine drive, before Hooper struck before the interval.

Anthony Stokes hit the roof of the net for Celtic's fourth in the 58th minute with a powerful shot from 10 yards to leave Rangers leading of the Scottish Premier League by one point ahead of Sunday's Old Firm meeting at Ibrox.

Commons insists the Celtic players were conscious of Rangers' opening up a wider gap with a win at Tannadice on Tuesday - even though Celtic have a match in hand - and manager Neil Lennon had insisted on an early goal to calm the nerves.

"We did that and got the three goals before half-time," added Commons.

"For us, it was about keeping a clean sheet and going out and get some more."

The former Derby man added that the Celtic squad were largely unfazed by the news headlines surrounding suspicious packages sent to Celtic boss Lennon and other high-profile fans of the Glasgow club - and simply wanted to record another vital win in their bid to regain the league title.

"The antics going on has played a big part in this week's press, but for us it was concentrating on getting three points," said Commons.

"It's important for us to go into Sunday's game with good spirits - and that's what we've done."

Assistant manager Johan Mjallby also praised Celtic's performance but insists they must target wins in all of their remaining matches this season.

"The pressure is always on and we know in the run-in we need to win more or less every game," he explained.

"We played really well tonight and well done to the players, they turned up here.

"I think we have been strong away from home but Kilmarnock have been really good this season, but in the end we played really well and everyone is focused on the run-in."

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