Commons: Celtic will keep pedal to metal

KRIS Commons has no fears that Celtic will down tools when the Parkhead club finally wrap up their third consecutive Scottish title.

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Celtic stars Kris Commons, Leigh Griffiths and Charlie Mulgrew limber up for their trip to Rugby Park this evening
Celtic stars Kris Commons, Leigh Griffiths and Charlie Mulgrew limber up for their trip to Rugby Park this evening

Because the forward has revealed the Hoops players are desperate to smash more records before the end of the 2013/14 campaign.

And he is keen to keep his amazing scoring streak going - and boost his chances of success in this season's Player of the Year awards in the process.

Commons and his team- mates, who are 21 points clear at the top of the SPFL Premiership, take on Kilmarnock at Rugby Park this evening.

Victory over Allan Johnston's side in the live televised fixture down in Ayrshire will take them to within touching distance of a hat-trick of league crowns.

But Commons - who is hoping to have his contract extended by another year when it expires in the summer - is confident Celtic will keep on winning.

He said: "There are records to be broken. We want to try and keep as many clean sheets as possible, we want to try and score as many goals as we can and get the biggest points tally.

"We want to finish the season on a high and I think it would be unprofessional of us if we got through these three games and then took our foot off the gas and finished the season on a bit of a low.

"We will be looking to win every game and do what we always do. With the number of clean sheets we have, we will try to get another run of them."

Commons has banged in 23 goals in all competitions this season and is hopeful he can go on to beat his previous best mark for a campaign.

He said: "I don't think I have ever fared so well in a season when it comes to scoring goals. When I joined the club I had scored a few for Derby and then after the move in January I scored a few up here. In total it was about 28.

"I am on 23 and hopefully I can get a couple more. It is a decent return as I have never been a striker. I wouldn't class myself as that sort of player.

"When I first started out in football I was always a winger - a left winger, a right winger or a player who operated in the hole just off the striker.

"The other lads, Amido Balde, Anthony Stokes and now Leigh Griffiths, are strikers who thrive on goals and have good movement in the penalty area. I am not like that.

"With Leigh coming in to the squad it has meant that I have been put back in that role that I enjoy playing, linking up play between the midfield and the front men."

Asked if he could smash through the 30-mark in the remaining games of the current season, Commons replied: "Possibly."

He continued: "But I was on the bench for the last game so I have to get myself in the starting XI. I just take every game as it comes along.

"I always try and score and be the man involved in the goals whether it is setting up or scoring. It is just brilliant that you are in the team and are having that sort of impact on the game."

Commons is, along with Celtic centre-half Virgil van Dijk, one of the favourites to succeed in the Player of the Year awards which will be doled out at the end of the season. But the former Scotland international stressed that landing an individual prize had not entered his head and revealed he was simply focused on doing well in the games which are coming up.

He said: "I don't think about it. It is probably like the number of goals I have scored all season. I don't think I have scored 25 or I have scored 30.

"I just take every game as it comes. I just want to keep on playing for the side and keep on scoring goals and we will see where it does take me.

"There are a lot of good players who stand out, players who have played for us and throughout the league, who will be candidates. But I wouldn't be big-headed enough to throw my hat in the ring."

Commons caused controversy when he announced he would be retiring from international football to spend more time with his young family last year.

But the 12-times capped player has no regrets about his decision and believes it has helped him perform to a consistently high standard at club level in recent months.

He said: "Playing with Celtic you already spend a fair amount of time away from your family. It is a lot without playing for Scotland as well. I try and spend as much time as I can with my kids as I can. International breaks are the perfect time to do that.

"When you play two international games you can be away for 10 days, two weeks. It is just a hell of a lot of time to be away without being with your kids.

"Obviously, I take a big interest in how Scotland do because our lads are involved and I am rooting for them. I want them to go away with the national team and do well while I spend time with my family."

Football

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