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Celtic defender Mikael Lustig looking forward to winter break


Celtic defender Mikael Lustig admits the winter break will come at the perfect moment for himself and his team-mates - but he is relishing the hectic festive schedule beforehand.

The Sweden international is getting his first taste of Christmas in Scotland with a training session today followed by an overnight stay in Tayside ahead of the Boxing Day clash against Dundee.

Lustig welcomes the traditional aspect of the holiday programme but he has been troubled by a hip problem in recent weeks and missed the 4-0 victory over Ross County on Saturday.

So the two weekends off from Clydesdale Bank Premier League duty after the January 2 visit of Motherwell will allow the former Rosenborg player to recharge his batteries as Celtic challenge in four competitions.

"It's coming at the right time," Lustig said. "Most players need it. It's been a lot of games and there are some important games in February and the whole of next year. So it's perfect timing.

"I prefer to get some days off. It's a lot of games in the UK and it's probably one thing that people who watch football like, especially on Boxing Day. It's tradition and I think they should keep it like that."

Despite his fitness concern, the 26-year-old has no problem keeping going for the next three games.

"Especially now when we are winning, it's quite easy," he said.

"When you are winning, you just want to play games and you think everything is fun.

"But of course, I feel a little bit tired and needed rest against Ross County."

Celtic moved five points clear with their 4-0 weekend win and Lustig is keen to keep their recent consistency going.

"We don't look so much at the table," he said. "We just speak about the next game.

"We have won the last four in the league and we are hoping to get another win.

"But it will be hard, especially away from home. It's going to be a full house and it's probably going to be the biggest game for Dundee this year.

"They need to collect some points now, absolutely, and they will make it hard for us."