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By ESPN Staff
May 2, 2011

Mjallby pleased with improvement

Celtic assistant manager Johan Mjallby admits assembling a virtually new team at the start of the season was a concern - so the double celebration he enjoyed on the first day of May came with a sense of achievement.

The Hoops followed up their 4-1 win over Dundee United, which kept the destiny of the title in their hands, by watching left-back Emilio Izaguirre scoop the Cheque Centre PFA Scotland Player of the Year Award.

The Honduras left-back was among eight players who started against United to have joined the club after the end of last season, while another, teenager James Forrest, was also handed his debut by manager Neil Lennon.

Mjallby knew it was a risk bringing in so many new players but seeing Izaguirre collecting the award ahead of competition from another summer signing, Gary Hooper, was further vindication of their policy.

"We are just so happy that we have really improved this team," Mjallby said. "With 11 or 12 new signings, we knew it was a wee bit of a worry if we would be able to get them to gel so quickly, but I think we have done a good job and the players have been a credit to themselves."

Mjallby would have had few complaints if someone had told him in July that Celtic would win the title if they claimed victory in their final four games. Celtic will go top of the table by two points on Wednesday if they win their game in hand over Rangers at Inverness.

"I would probably have been happier if we were eight points ahead right now and I could take it easy and relax a bit," he said, "but that's why you are working at this club - you want to be in the spotlight and working at a club with a chance to win titles.

"We know it's probably going to go all the way so it's up to us to just concentrate on ourselves and try to win these four games."

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