Ange Postecoglou insists Celtic will be “hard to stop” in their quest to retain the cinch Premiership title after they dismantled Rangers 4-0 at Parkhead.
Liel Abada scored a first-half double, one either side of a glorious Jota chip, to have the points secured by the interval.
Substitute David Turnbull accepted a gift from Jon McLaughlin to slam the ball past the Gers goalkeeper for number four to take Celtic five points clear of the Ibrox side at the top of the table, after just six fixtures.
The Hoops boss reiterated that the lead means little at this stage of the season but likes the way his side are playing – they have scored 17 goals in the last three games – and was encouraged by an “outstanding” performance.
Postecoglou said: “The league table isn’t important right now. What’s important is how we play.
“If we continue to play like that, absolutely, we’re going to be hard to stop. That’s our intent. We want to be better.
“We’ve started the season really strongly but we’ve got stronger each week and today was another strong performance.
“People have been dismissive because they thought the opposition we’ve had so far weren’t up to it.
“We were brilliant last week but people spoke about how poor Dundee United were (Celtic won 9-0 away from home).
“That suits us because it ignores our part in it. It will be the same today.
“We’ll just keep doing what we’re doing. Five points doesn’t get you anything right now – that was shown last year.
“But if we keep improving and playing like that? We’ll be hard to stop.”
Postecoglou insists his side will not temper their attacking style when they take on Real Madrid in their glamour Champions League opener at Parkhead on Tuesday night, where Japan striker Kyogo Furuhashi, who went off within minutes with a shoulder injury, and defender Carl Starfelt, who picked up a knock, will hope to be fit.
He said: “Now we’ll get ready for Tuesday night. They’re an unbelievable team with outstanding pedigree.
“They’re champions of Europe but we’ll go out there and test ourselves.
“We don’t need motivation to raise our game. If you go to Ross County and score four, you need to be motivated or you slip up.
“To score nine last week and break a record, you need to be motivated. We were motivated today and we’ll be motivated on Tuesday night.
“We don’t need to change our approach to measure ourselves against the best.
“We’ll get really tested against Madrid but that’s what we want. You’ve got to respect the opposition. They’re a top team.
“But what we can control is what we bring. We’ll give our best, our way. That’s the key. This is who we are now as a team and we won’t change our approach.
“I’ve always felt the way to do that is by being yourself. We have to bring our own identity – that’s the approach we will take.
“What a great opportunity to play our football. If we’re not successful, we are not successful.
“But let’s go down swinging rather than deferring to someone because they’re a good team and changing our approach.
“Our supporters want us to take the game to Real Madrid and see where it takes us. Let’s have a crack anyway.”