“We can’t underestimate any team,” Nicolas Kuhn on Dundee

Celtic winger Nicolas Kuhn spoke to the media at Lennoxtown yesterday afternoon ahead of Celtic’s trip to Dens Park to play Dundee in the first of five post split fixtures that will determine the destination of the Scottish Premiership trophy.

Kuhn, a £3m January arrival from Rapid Vienna, reckons he’s now settled into life as a Celtic player and physically he’s now much strong and able to play for the full 90 minutes. Kuhn is also full of praise for his fellow Celtic winger James Forrest and he talks about watching theRangers drop points at Dens Park, something Celtic cannot afford to do tomorrow afternoon.

Here’s everything that was said at Nicolas Kuhn’s media conference…

Q: How much are you looking forward to the end of the season? It is tight at the top, isn’t it?

Nicolas Kuhn: “We had a good week. We are prepared for the next match. It is going to be exciting.”

Q: Is the feeling good around the place given how you won the game last weekend?

Nicolas Kuhn: “Of course. I think it can bring a team even closer together. I hope that’s the case. Our focus is on the next match.”

Q: On your own personal performances do you feel that you are getting stronger every week with more game time that you are getting?

Nicolas Kuhn: “I think physically I am getting stronger. Now I can last 90 minutes. Before I had some struggles out there after 70 minutes or something. Now I feel much better.”

Q: Is that the perfect time to go into such big games come the end of this season? Do you feel that you can make a big contribution over the next six matches?

Nicolas Kuhn: “I hope so. I am definitely better and it makes a big difference for me. I know I can go for 90 minutes and I do not have to hold some power back. I am happy.”

Q: How did you enjoy the experience at Hampden last weekend?

Nicolas Kuhn: “Yes, it was really nice. The atmosphere was great. It was good that we got the win at the end. That was the most important thing.”

Q: There are high stakes in these games and you will be going back to face (the)Rangers in the Scottish Cup final. Did last weekend give you a taste of it?

Nicolas Kuhn: “Of course, it did. Now we focus on the next match. That is all we did this week and we go from game to game.”

Q: What about James Forrest? He came on last week and had a big influence. Has it been good to work with him? He has been at Celtic a long time and knows what it is about and he plays in your position.

Nicolas Kuhn: “James is a great player. I think he had some impact in the games before. He can change a game. His goal was really important for us. It was nice.”

Q: You say you are focused on the game coming up. What are you expecting from Dundee?

Nicolas Kuhn: “I think we have to play our game. They are going to stay behind the ball and we have to find the spaces in the back four or five. We are going to do our best to find the solutions.”

Q: It was 7-1 the last time you played Dundee. It was quite a good result in your favour, to say the least, but now they are in the top six do you think they will be a different outfit?

Nicolas Kuhn: “I think it is going to be an away game and it is not going to be easy. We can’t underestimate any team. We have to focus on ourselves and give everything.”

Q: Nicolas, you were involved in a high-pressure game at Hampden on Saturday, and there’s now a lot of pressure over these last few games from now until and the cup final. What’s the message from the manager to you and the group of players to keep you focused during that pressured time?

Nicolas Kuhn: “Already in the weeks before we focused on ourselves and we went from match to match, and we’ve kept doing this. We have to focus on the next match, and that’s all that we can do.”

Q: Dundee were mentioned there and they’ve played (the)Rangers recently. How much do you and your teammates watch (the)Rangers? Do you watch (the)Rangers in your free time and have a small eye on what they’re doing?

Nicolas Kuhn: “Of course, I think everyone has seen what happened at the end of the game. As I said before, we try to focus on ourselves and now it’s in our hands. It’s perfect.”

Q: You’ve been at big clubs in your career so far. Has that helped you when you’re in this situation when you’ve got to win every game basically?

Nicolas Kuhn: “Of course, I knew already before that Celtic want to win everything and every game there is. As I said, in the clubs I’ve played at before it’s the same, and it’s helpful. I knew what was coming, and in the beginning, it was a little bit difficult for me with all of the surroundings. Now I’m settled down and I feel good.”

Q: How do you handle that pressure yourself? Do you relax away from football or keep focused?

Nicolas Kuhn: “Yeah, I just want to play. I didn’t really change anything. There was a lot of pressure in the beginning, also because I didn’t perform the way I wanted to, but I just kept going and that’s what I always do. I didn’t worry because the performances were always going to come, because I knew what I could do.”

Q: So there was no frustration really at the start in your first few appearances, you just had that mentality that the best is yet to come and you would get there soon?

Nicolas Kuhn: “Yeah, I think the second game or something was already a goal against Aberdeen and I fully focused on my strengths and getting that strength back and the power to go 90 minutes again. That’s what I have now, so I’m happy.”

Watch Nicolas Kuhn’s media conference from Lennoxtown yesterday afternoon below…

ON CELTIC SHORTS…Clement serves Belgian waffle and the spineless SMSM laps it up

About Author

The Celtic Star founder and editor David Faulds has edited numerous Celtic books over the past decade or so including several from Lisbon Lions, Willie Wallace, Tommy Gemmell and Jim Craig. Earliest Celtic memories include a win over East Fife at Celtic Park and the 4-1 League Cup loss to Partick Thistle as a 6 year old. Best game? Easy 4-2, 1979 when Ten Men Won the League. Email editor@thecelticstar.co.uk

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