NO player in the Hibernian dressing room is more acutely aware of the demands that come with representing Celtic than Efe Ambrose.

Should John McGinn require guidance regarding the suffocating pressure and lofty expectations which go hand-in-hand with the lavish rewards of pulling on a Celtic shirt, the affable Ambrose will be on hand to offer counsel.

The Nigerian internationalist enjoyed soaring highs during five largely successful years in Glasgow, claiming six major honours, registering an iconic victory against Barcelona and reaching the last-16 of the Champions League. 

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He also endured painful lows, at times becoming a figure of fun – often unfairly – due to a penchant for high-profile errors which marred otherwise impressive displays.

However, Ambrose has no doubt in his mind that, should Hibs agree terms with their Parkhead counterparts, McGinn will meet the challenge of becoming a mainstay with Brendan Rodgers’ double treble winners.

“I think John can make the step up,” said the 29-year-old. “He has the quality and the ability to succeed at Celtic. 

“If he does get there then he will need to battle for his place because it’s not easy at a club like Celtic. 

“There are quality players all around you and they will all want to play. So he will have to fight. 

“Celtic is a place that comes with huge responsibility and the fans are special. If he does join them, then that is just football and we would wish him well – but he can succeed there.” 

Celtic saw an initial bid for the Scotland star, believed to be in the region of £1.5m, rejected on Monday evening but fully intend to test Hibs’ resolve again. 

McGinn has just 12 months to run on his current deal, making Neil Lennon’s initial valuation of £5 million somewhat optimistic.

Nevertheless, the Easter Road hierarchy are determined to get what they deem to be top dollar for their prize asset. 

“I am not surprised to see Celtic come in for a player of John’s quality,” continued Ambrose. “It’s been in the papers for a long time. The most important thing is he has done so well for this club and he has helped put us in the position that we are in today.

Read more: Celtic winger James Forrest prepared for rocky road to Champions League group stage​

“It’s a big compliment to Hibs that Celtic are looking here for players. When you are doing well people look at you and this squad did well last season.” 

It remains to be seen whether McGinn is part of the Hibs side that lines up against NSI Runavik at Easter Road next Thursday as they embark on their Europa League campaign. A second qualifying round tie against Asteras Tripolis or Greece awaits the victor. 

A low-key clash with the Faroe Island minnows could barely be more of a juxtaposition from glamour ties against Barca, Juventus or AC Milan. 

Nevertheless, Ambrose, a veteran continental campaigner, will be approaching the fixture with the same levels of professionalism as he seeks to help Hibs become the first side out-with the Old Firm to reach a group phase in European competition since Aberdeen in 2007/08.

“Our goal is to try and get into the group stages,” insisted Ambrose.