Celtic are taking a break in the Spanish sunshine this week as they seek to recharge their batteries for the final assault in the battle for the SPL flag. Former PSV Eindhoven star Vennegoor of Hesselink won two consecutive Eredivisie titles prior to joining Celtic and he's looking for his fifth consecutive league winners medal as the Hoops go head-to-head with the Huns in the final five games of the season and the big striker is finding the net again at last.
"As a striker, people expect you to score goals." Jan told the Celtic View. "Of course, you can be important in other ways but, as a striker, you have to score goals. I always had confidence that the goals would come. Some made more of an issue of it than I did but I knew it would happen eventually."
"My team-mates were very good to me." he said. "They celebrated with me when I scored the goal and I have to thank the supporters as well. A big roar came from the stands and it was a great feeling. I was out for a period with an injury and after that you have to get your match fitness back. My fitness training-wise was back but I wasn't right game-wise. That takes time."
Jan's goals were pivotal in last year's run-in. His injury time winner against the Huns last April was a truly euphoric moment, the stuff of which dreams are made, and his title-clinching winner at Tannadice was the icing on the cake and he's hungry for more of the same. "We are coming into a very important stage in the season, one where everyone has to grind out the results." he said. "We showed that we could do that last year at this stage and I am convinced we can do it again. I am going for five now. The last two years I was at PSV I was a champion and it's the same the last two at Celtic. If, at the end of the year, you are standing there without a trophy it's a terrible feeling and all those past achievements do not matter."
"I have won titles a few times and the feeling is indescribable." said Celtic's number 10. "It makes you want it every season and that's why all the boys here are ready for those final five matches. It would be great to do it again and we will be doing everything in our power to repeat it. It doesn't matter who gets the goal that wins the title - as long as somebody does. It would be nice for me to do that but I'm not really thinking that way."
"I want to see that the team is doing well and if I can play a part in that it would be great." added Jan. "People remember you as a group and look at the period you played and they never forget your successes. That's what makes this club special. But I am not thinking too much about it because that's something you do when you finish playing."
"Look at Ryan Giggs." he said. "People have been speaking this season about his career and all his achievements but he is still going. He still has the desire, the hunger and when you see him play, he is unbelievable. That's what you aspire to as a footballer. That's nice because then you have a nice CV, a nice record to look back on and one day I'll be able to take some pride in that, especially playing for a club such as Celtic."
"But we cannot become arrogant and complacent." he concluded. "We have to do everything to win it. That's our job and only when we have done that can we look back and enjoy it."