SENTIMENT will be placed to one side as Kristoffer Ajer lines up against a team he holds in the highest regard tomorrow afternoon, with the Norwegian still having a place in his heart for Kilmarnock having spent a productive loan spell there as a youngster.

The 21-year-old spent half a season at Rugby Park, and he credits the club with playing a crucial part in his development into the player he now is.

That won’t stop him from doing his utmost to help Celtic to three points against Killie tomorrow, though.

“I still have affection for Kilmarnock, of course I do, I loved my time there,” Ajer said. “It’s a fantastic club and they really took care of me during my six months there. I only have positive things to say about Kilmarnock.

“I was young when I went there but it was important for my career. I went there and played nearly every single game as a centre half.

“Everyone was very positive, and they gave me a lot of good feedback from the manager. It stood me in good stead for where I am today.

“They have been playing very well recently and managed to achieve some big results. It will be a difficult game but hopefully we can continue to perform the way we have this year and we can win the points.

“It’s difficult to play so many games but that’s what it’s like to be a Celtic player. You have to perform well in every game.

“We will recover from the game in Copenhagen and we will be ready for Sunday.

“We want to keep this run going. We want to perform in every game.

“It will be tough on Sunday, but we will be very positive because we want another three points.”

After Kilmarnock, Ajer and his teammates will again turn their attention to Copenhagen, and he is confident if cautious ahead of the second leg after coming back from Denmark with a draw and an away goal.

“We knew it was going to be a tough game,” he said. “It’s a difficult place to go to.

“We played very good in the first half and in the second half they played very well and made it hard for us.

“It was a positive result for us, but I don’t know if we have big advantage. If they managed to get a goal in Glasgow then it’s wide open. But we have scored an away goal and we have to dominate the second leg as much as we can.

“If we can repeat the first half performance then of course we will be okay. But I thought we defended pretty well in the second half.

“They got around us down the sides a few times, but they didn’t create too many chances. Obviously, Fraser (Forster) saved the penalty as well but we were okay with the 1-1 draw.

“Fraser is unbelievable. Whenever we concede a penalty, it’s almost like you have this belief he’s going to save it.

“He is so big it’s almost impossible to get past him. It’s great to have that presence as you are always confident, he is going to save them.

“He has saved a lot of penalties and he is a very important player for us.

“We are in good position going in to the second leg.”