Everything Matt O'Riley had to say in his pre-match press conference ahead of Celtic's trip to Ayrshire to face Kilmarnock in the Viaplay Cup...

It's been a very good start to the season for you personally what has changed in these pre-season matches and in a couple of league matches where you have hit this scoring spree?

I don't think anything has changed massively, to be honest. Maybe I feel slightly better from a mental perspective which always helps. I'm feeling really good in general. We've got a slightly new style and my role has changed slightly but nothing too crazy. I've just got into the right positions and just stayed calm and that's what it has come down to.

Everybody has spoken about how Brendan Rodgers' man-management skills from his first spell at Celtic can develop a player and make them shine. How have you experienced his type and style of management?

Yeah, it's been good. If there is something I need to work on or be addressed, we will go through it, especially on the training pitch. The other day he pulled me in and went through some little bits, nothing crazy but it was some little details to help me. It was nothing too much as we don't want to overload people's heads too much with information. I think he's good with most players in terms of just dealing with them from a personal perspective. Naturally, that is going to help on the pitch because you probably feel slightly better.

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In terms of that personal aspect, is that something which you prefer in a manager when he can pull you aside and go right this is what you have to work on?

I wouldn't say I have a preference, to be honest with you. I think there are so many different styles of management in football and if they are successful it doesn't really bother me to be honest. I like working with managers who can get the best out of me however that is. I have been fortunate in my career to have had good managers thus far and I do think I am developing every season which is the most important thing.

Do you think the best is yet to come from you and this squad?

Oh yeah, I think so. I will always want to improve and I hope the team will always want to improve so it should be an exciting season.

Looking at the players the manager has brought in and talking about gelling. This will take time won't it for Brendan to bring in his style which is different from Ange's (Postecoglou)? How well are the players gelling at the moment?

I mean we have won the first two games. We can't see that we have been bad by any means and I think we have played some good stuff within that. It is going to take a bit of time to gel. New players have come in and there are players leaving and it is a slightly different style but I think we have got enough good players to adapt. As a footballer, you need to be ready to adapt whenever but I think we will be fine. We are in a good place right now. I think every game, we will get better as well.

Is that almost a warning to the rest of the league that you have already been to one of the hardest places to go and could have won by four or five or whatever and there is still that room to grow within this squad?

I don't think we came off the pitch feeling that we had played great but at the same time I think we were comfortable overall. They had a bit of pressure in the game but they never really threatened our goal too much. I think we were quite comfortable which is a positive in terms of that stability throughout the team. I am not going to speak too much about the rest of the teams in the league but I think we are in a good place.

Your role has slightly changed, how do you see that it has changed and can you expand on that?

Tactically it is slightly different within our midfield structure and with Kyogo (Furuhashi) coming a bit deeper at times depending on how much pressure is on the ball. For me, personally, I am slightly more involved at times in the build-up aspect with obviously that licence to get forward as well. I have probably got that little bit more freedom to get up and down the pitch which I enjoy doing. I quite like seeing the play develop and kind of reading the play and I can pick my moment to arrive in the box or maybe arrive in our defensive box to help out.

Do you think that is going to help you score more goals this season? Both goals this season have been two great finishes as you have arrived in the box at the right time. Do you think that will help improve your goalscoring ratio? You have two goals already and you notched four last season. Do you feel you can go much further and do you have any personal targets that you have set yourself?

I haven't set myself any targets in terms of numbers. Last season I did. Having said that I am still young so some of it is trial and error. Personally, I feel better when I am coming from it from a place of just expressing myself and a free standpoint rather than just setting a target and going for that. If you're not getting close to it then that might add a little bit of stress and you might lose a bit of calmness and composure so I haven't set myself any targets. Do I think it could help me get more goals? I'd like to think so, yes. I think last season I should have probably got more goals anyway within that structure so I do not think it is necessarily the different style. It is probably due to myself as well and how calm I am when I am in those areas.

Moving on to the weekend and it is the start of the League Cup - one of the trophies you won last year - how important is it to get off to a good start considering Kilmarnock is such a tough place to go to kick off your cup defence?

It is definitely a tough draw. Respectfully, if the game is at home then it is probably easier than playing away because it is a tough place to go and we know that from past experiences and other teams also finding it hard there. At the same time, I think we have got enough to win the game but it is going to be one we are going to have to be more than ready for.

How do you – as a player and as a squad – get yourselves up for it again because domestically last season you were nearly perfect winning all the trophies? How do you go again and do the same again? How do you do that?

I think it's about constantly wanting to improve – both individually and as a team collectively. We’ve got other competitions like the Champions League, which we’d like to improve on from last season, albeit our performances were probably pretty good but where we finished in the group wasn’t, so I think really making our mark in Europe is a target for everybody, but at the same time, we want to be as successful as possible in Scotland, so that will be the aim.

How important is it to find that balance? As you said, if you were to look at last season, the apparent improvement would be the Champions League because of everything else you won, but how important is it to make sure that you are still focused on this League Cup game when this opening game comes around, because if you lose it, then you’re out of the cup?

We know the demands and the pressures of being at Celtic. Every game you have to win so we’re well aware of that. I think more importantly it's just about continuing that winning mentality side of things, about trying to win every single game because naturally that carries you to the next game from a momentum point of view. Like I said, we’re at Celtic so I don’t think that you should expect anything less than to win and for me personally, I think we should have the same mindset when we’re in the Champions League as well.

Just on Kilmarnock themselves, talking about that pitch. You saw them on the opening day against Rangers as well and how impressive they were to beat Rangers. Do you think they can improve this season and expect more, I remember the game towards the end of last season you were beating them 5-0 after half an hour. Do you expect this to be a tougher test this time around?

I think we should always expect it to be a tough test. We need to be as prepared as we can be. Last season when we went there, like you said, with the 5-0 game, we took our chances really well. I think that’s going to be very important. I do think if you score the first goal at a place like that then it helps a lot but at the same time if they were to score first then I think we've got enough in our toolbox to still win the game. So, we’re a team that stays calm regardless of how the game is going so I think we’ll be prepared.

Is that Kilmarnock win over Rangers just a reminder of how variable this league can be sometimes – especially on the plastic pitches away from home – teams especially up against the likes of Celtic and Rangers throw everything at you – especially in a one-off cup game?

Yeah, I think so. I think as much as the likes of Celtic and Rangers are expected to win all of their games, it's a lot easier said than done because winning football matches isn’t an easy thing to do regardless of who you’re playing against. Every game poses a different challenge. When you get through the middle stage of the season, when you’ve got three games a week, then obviously, it's going to take more of a toll on the body and you have to be very focused and relentless with your approach so I do think that’s something that gets overlooked by being a Celtic player because the demands are high to win – not that I’m complaining - but it's definitely easier said than done. But at the same time, I think it's nice to be in that kind of environment where you have to be relentless and you have to really go for it every week because you play football to win at the same time, don’t you?

I just wanted to pick up on something you said earlier about your own game and about being in a better place mentally. What is that for you in that sense, that mental space, is it just being more settled in Glasgow?

I’ve always been settled in Glasgow. I think it’s probably more of a mindful thing when I'm on the pitch. If your head’s somewhere else or you’re thinking too much, then naturally, you won't be as focused on the game and what you need to do in that given moment so when I'm in a place that is calm and clear then I’m with the flow of things and I feel good – and I feel like that’s where I’m at, at the moment.

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Does that come with age, or is that something you’ve worked on?

It’s something I work on quite relentlessly as well off the pitch as well, whether it be meditation or a lot of mindful practices, but I just try to constantly improve whether it be as a person or as a footballer as well.