Everything Celtic defender Cameron Carter-Vickers said to the media in his press conference ahead of the game against Aberdeen...

Cameron (Carter-Vickers), I guess I have to start with Carl (Starfelt) moving on. I'm just wondering from your point of view – someone you’ve worked alongside so well – how you feel saying goodbye to a team-mate?

I think it's always sad when you lose a team-mate – especially when you’ve played so closely with them. For him, it was the right decision to move, and we wish him nothing but the best.

How disruptive does it become because you’ve built a really good way of working together?

I think that all defensive partnerships take a bit of time. I think that’s just the nature of the position so for me now it's all about focussing on trying to build connections with new teammates and new players and try and build that connection as strong as possible.

Maik (Nawrocki) played last week. How have you found working with him and how have you tried to ease him into the role because, obviously, you have a lot of eyes on you when you step into the Celtic team?

He’s a really good player, you can see in training all the qualities that he has. Like I was saying before it's just all about how he needs time more than anything and building up connections in terms of knowing me knowing what he’s going to do and him knowing what I'm going to do, and it's building from there, really.

Cameron, you’re obviously one of the more senior players in the squad now. You wore the armband many times last season, and you're going to be the centre-back that’s always going to be on the pitch with Carl coming out and Maik coming in – perhaps other centre-backs coming in as well. Do you relish the responsibility of showing them the way and being the leading man at the back?

To be fair, I don’t know if I see it like that, to be honest. I get instructions from the manager, and I try and follow them as well as I can and once I’m performing at a certain level I can try and help others to try and perform as well. But yeah, all the directions come from the manager and the staff and for me, it’s just about how I can do the best I can and help others do the best that they can as well.

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The squad was so successful last year with that treble that we all know about. You’ve lost Jota, Carl’s moved on and you’ve brought many players in. The manager has come in as well. For yourself – looking around at your team-mates – do you feel that the squad is in a stronger place this time round than perhaps 12 months ago?

It’s difficult to say. I think we’re in a good place right now. The season’s just started but the squad is definitely strong, and you can see in training how competitive it is and that everyone’s right up for it and everyone’s competing to play.

Just wanted to quickly ask you about Aberdeen. I don’t know if you can still remember but it was two years ago that big win when Postecoglou was here - 2-1 I think it was up at Pittodrie – that sparked the away victories and sparked the start of the season that ended up with the title. You know how big these games up at Pittodrie can be – how key is it to go up there and make sure you get the three points? And can it also be like a kickstart for the season – that big victory?

Yeah, I don’t know about a kickstart – I don’t really look into things like that – but it's just about going up there, trying to perform and try and win the game. Obviously, Aberdeen had a great finish to last season and they’re in a strong position at the moment, so we know it’ll be a tough game, but we’re focused on our performance and going up there and trying to win.

In terms of changes from last season, Brendan (Rodgers) said he wanted to put his own stamp on the team. How do you feel things have changed in and around the club, in training and on the pitch?

I think there are definitely a few tactical tweaks that the new manager has made. To be fair, I’ve only been back training with the team for about 10 days so I'm still kind of learning and picking up the little tactical tweaks that he’s making but a lot of it is the same. Possession-based, high-press so it’s just trying to learn little formational tweaks and tactical tweaks that he’s making.

How are you physically? Obviously, you’re probably just getting up to speed I’d imagine training for just ten days but playing through it. Is that the best way to do it?

Yeah I think so, that’s the way I want to do it. There’s nothing like getting fitness and the best way to get fitness is by playing games. It’s perfect for me. I feel good. Even when I wasn’t training with the team for that long I was running on my own for a while, so I feel good and I’m ready to play.

How long were you playing with the pain last season? Was it quite a while that you had to grin and bear it to get through games?

Yeah, last season, it was quite a while. I think long before Christmas I initially done it (the injury), but the pain wasn’t bad consistently like it was lows and highs with how bad the pain would be, but it was just something that I needed to get sorted and now that it is I’m in a good spot.

How do you go about building those new relationships with your partners at the back? Is it mostly about the work on the training ground or matches? What’s key for you?

A bit of everything. Training’s key, speaking to each other out on the training pitch and letting each other know where we’re wanting to be and then also in games as well. Like I said, there’s nothing like a game to see how his natural tendencies are and him learning mine and from there you can feed off of each other.

And you’re saying that the early signs are there, that you can build a strong partnership like you had with Carl last season in this fresh campaign?

I think so. As I said, you can see the qualities that Maik has, and you see them every day in training. He’s a very very good player and it’s just time. All defensive connections take time and that’s just what we and the team need.

What are the qualities that he has that you think can complement yours?

He’s very good on the ball, he’s a very good progressive passer on the ball. I think he reads the game really well and he knows when to step in at times and try and be aggressive and intercept the ball and things like that so yeah, he’s a good player.

You spoke about your injuries, so it was before Christmas that you did it so how did you and the manager and the medical staff decide on how to manage that problem and not do the surgery sooner?

My understanding of the injury was that it was never going to get worse – the actual damage in the knee – so it wasn’t too much of a risk of the injury getting worse, so it was mainly just pain management. Some weeks I wouldn’t train at the start of the week and come in towards the end of the week to be ready for the game. It was just about managing the pain and trying to play 90 minutes on the weekend, really.

How difficult was it towards the end of the season to know that “I need to stop and have the surgery”, given there was still games to be played and a couple of big games in the mix as well?

I think I always wanted to go as far as I could with it. I felt like I wanted to be there to help the team if I could and obviously, I felt like I still could contribute to the team in a positive way, so I wanted to be able to do that.

Was it tricky when the celebrations started, and you had to stand at the back and watch your knee and get out of the way of things?

Nah, I didn’t mind it, to be fair. I felt just as much of a part of it as I would have if I was playing or not. It was good.

Was it a case of “you get it done” with a view to you being at your maximum this season and what this campaign entailed and the bigger picture?

Yeah, I think that was more of a discussion between others. My view on it was that I feel good and that I can play. I know I need this done but I’ll kind of be guided by the management and by the physios as to when it should happen and they thought that when I did get it done that would be the best time, when we had most things wrapped up from last season and I also had to be ready for the beginning of this season.

Your last game – Rangers in the (Scottish Cup) semi-final. Did that feel like a cup final to you? Were you aiming to get that out of the way as the league position was looking good as well – did it feel like that?

Yeah, kind of. I knew that this would be my last game, so I played it. To be fair, not much really changed for me mentally. I went out there how I always do and tried to perform and help my team. But yeah, it was a bit of a weird feeling after that game for me personally because I did know that would be the last game of the season, but it is what it is.

What was the cup final like then? Because beating Rangers, getting to the cup final, you knowing that – being such a big player for Celtic – that you couldn’t actually influence the cup final because you weren’t in it?

I did enjoy the cup final, to be fair. I was there in my suit watching the game! We won, and I’m not a real overthinker or anything like that in terms of thinking, “I’m playing this game but I’m going to miss this game”. For me, it’s just that when I’m fit, I’ll play the best that I can and when I’m not, I can’t do much about it, so I just go with it.

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It was a winning start last weekend, so how important is it that you back that up and continue the early momentum you’re looking to build in the league this year?

It's key. It’s a new season, and everyone starts on the equal amount of points and for us it’s just about building momentum and trying to go on a winning run as we did the previous season. I think we’ve got the squad and manager that know how to do that. It’s just about performing now and getting it done.