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Celtic ace Nakamura: I'd rather chase Rangers

Shunsuke Nakamura insists Celtic are in a good position to defend their title this season.

The Japanese midfielder insists Gordon Strachan's side know what it takes to win the SPL and their experience will pull them through when it matters.

But he admits the champions may well need to win all three remaining Old Firm clashes to make it three championships in a row.

Naka said: "We won the league comfortably in the first two years and were being chased as we led for most of the way. Now we are doing the chasing. Rangers are on top of the league and we have to catch them.

"My personal opinion is that chasing is easier. It is not as tough mentally when you are trying to make up a points gap.

"I think there is more pressure on Rangers than us.

"They finished strongly last season and played the 4-2-3-1 formation well. They added new players last summer and that has been a big thing for them.

"Rangers won the first Old Firm game of the season and there is no doubt the three remaining derbies will be really important in the outcome of the title race.

"We can do well in those games and I believe we will go on to win the title."

Naka is now on his way back to peak fitness after being sidelined for two months with a knee injury.

He has returned to the first team feeling no ill-effects and said: "It will take about a month to be at full fitness.

"I am training hard and that is more difficult than the games we play."

The 29-year-old may be called away on international duty with Japan and could miss Celtic's Scottish Cup tie against either Airdrie or Kilmarnock at the start of next month.

He told the Sunday Mail: "The authorities in Japan sent Celtic a letter about the next fixture although I do not know the full content.

"I may be available to play against Motherwell on January 30 but not the Scottish Cup tie.

I'm not sure, all I know is I want to play every game."

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Tribal Football Staff

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