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Ljunberg aims to be 'flying' soon


Freddie Ljunberg made his debut for Celtic on Saturday. Photo: Getty Images

Freddie Ljunberg made his debut for Celtic on Saturday. Photo: Getty Images

Freddie Ljunberg made his debut for Celtic on Saturday. Photo: Getty Images

Freddie Ljungberg hopes to be back to his best within the next couple of weeks after making his Celtic debut at the weekend.

The former Arsenal star played just over 60 minutes of the 2-0 Scottish Cup win at Berwick Rangers on Sunday, but had been out of action since leaving MLS club Chicago Fire three months ago.

A sickness bug prevented him from making his bow in last week's Old Firm derby but, now that he has got his first appearance under his belt, he is targeting 100pc fitness as soon as possible.

"Hopefully it will be like a normal pre-season when you are flying after a couple of weeks, so probably in two weeks or so," Ljungberg said.

"The physio and guys who are talking about my fitness and testing me say it looks good and they are just going to push me as much as they can."

Asked what percentage his fitness is at now, he added: "It's hard to say. I haven't played for eight to 10 weeks and this is the first time I've been on a field.

"You need to get used to things. I know this was not the Scottish top league. For me, it's important to get the feel for the league and that will come with games."

A trip to the north of England to tiny Shielfield Park was probably not what Ljungberg was expecting when he signed for the Hoops, but he was thrilled with the response he received from the Celtic faithful.

He said: "It was an amazing reception. They sang my name and that's really nice to hear from your own fans.

"At a place like this, so many people travelled and that shows how big the club is and how devoted the fans are to the club."

Goals from Daniel Majstorovic and Scott Brown ensured there was no cup shock and Ljungberg added: "We talked about it before the game and said it was not going to be a pretty game.

"We were not going to be showboating and showing some tricks, it was just about getting on with it and being professional and winning the game.

"They fought for their lives and they played well and, in the end, we wore them down with more fitness and won the game."

Ljungberg may have played just over an hour for his new club, but he is already convinced they have what it takes to wrest the Clydesdale Bank Premier League title from Rangers this season.

"They have the quality and they want to play," he said. "Most successful teams need to have the technical ability to play and dominate games and I think that's what they can do.

"It's a young squad and I will try to help them with how I play and hopefully we can go on to do great things. I think we have the potential to go on and win the league and that's what we are going to aim for."

PA Media