Celt Kelvin Wilson wants quick March to SPL title

KELVIN WILSON says Celtic want the SPL title wrapped up by the end of March.

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Kelvin Wilson is targeting a second SPL championship medal
Kelvin Wilson is targeting a second SPL championship medal

The champions are 18 points clear, and can set a record for claiming the flag if they can continue at this pace.

The record for clinching the SPL trophy was set by Celtic in Gordon Strachan's first season in charge when they got over the line on April 5 – before the split.

Wilson said: "With the lead we've built, we have worked out that, if we win every game, it could be the end of March (the title is clinched). It makes sense to try and achieve that as soon as possible."

If the record is to be bettered this time around, the Hoops have to seal the deal by the time they have played St Mirren in Paisley on March 31.

Their next match, the final one before the split, is against Hibs on April 6 – a day too late to match the existing record.

Motherwell are the nearest challengers to Neil Lennon's side, on 40 points with 13 games remaining.

So, for Celtic to have any chance of claiming a new record, the Fir Park side have to fail to win at least two games between now and the end of next month.

That makes next the clash next midweek between Celtic and the Steelmen at Fir Park even more important.

The Hoops' charge for the line begins tonight with the match at Perth against St Johnstone – unbeaten in their previous two meetings against Celts in the league this season.

Wilson believes his side delivered a statement of intent with their 6-2 win over Dundee United at the weekend – now the goal is to wrap up the title by the end of March.

And he hopes the Hoops will have secured a place in the semi-final of the Scottish Cup by then.

The manager can then activate his forward planning by giving the players who have done the bulk of the work to get Celtic to the business end of the season some well-earned time off.

The plan is to give them the best possible chance of being ready for the Champions League qualifiers, which begin for the SPL winners on July 15.

To get this reward, Wilson – who is knocking on the door of the England squad – would be happy to play three times a week for as long as it takes to pick up his second championship medal.

"You don't train much, you just prepare for the games and tick them off, because they come so fast," he said. "It's tiring but it's good."

Despite the heavy workload, Wilson has maintained his top form and has caught the eye of England boss, Roy Hodgson.

However, the man who represented his country at Under-20 level, would view a call-up simply as a bonus.

"It's nice to be spoken about it in those terms, but we'll see," is his laid-back reaction to the news Hodgson had sung his praises to Lennon after last week's game against Juventus.

"It's good to hear some nice things being said," he continued. "I've not really thought about England, to be honest. But, obviously, it would be nice. If it comes along, it would be a great achievement."

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