Ljungberg: I'll be fully fit and 'flying' for Celtic in a fortnight

 

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The Independent Online

Freddie lLungberg hopes to be back to his best within the next couple of weeks after making his Celtic debut at the weekend. The former Arsenal midfielder played just over 60 minutes of the 2-0 Scottish Cup win at Berwick Rangers on Sunday, having 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 reaching 100 per cent 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 [against Berwick]. 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 had been expecting when he signed for Celtic, 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."

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 Scottish Premier League title from Rangers.

"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 do great things. We have the potential to win the League and that's what we are going to aim for."

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