Manager’s programme notes

Posted : 10th July 2019

It is a privilege and honour to lead our club into tonight’s UEFA Champions’ League first round tie against Norwegian champions Rosenborg.

This is the leading club tournament in the world and it’s the competition every club wants to take part in, so we are proud to represent our country in this season’s UEFA Champions’ League campaign.

Taking part in this tournament represents success in the previous season’s domestic league campaign and we were delighted with our achievement of winning both the Premier League and League Cup trophies last season.

However, we know we will face a huge challenge in tonight’s game and in next week’s return leg in Norway, as Rosenborg are experienced campaigners at this level and indeed, have become regulars in the group stages of the Europa League, where they have met Celtic on several occasions.

We have prepared thoroughly and professionally for tonight’s game and we have researched everything there is to know about the strengths of the squad of our welcome visitors.

We missed the involvement in Europe last season and there’s a real buzz about the club because we are back competing at this level again and indeed, are guaranteed a second game, hopefully in the UEFA Champions’ League or alternatively in the Europa League.

We have had some excellent warm up games against Motherwell and St. Johnstone, as well as a thoroughly professional training camp in Marbella, Spain, where we played a behind closed doors training game against Dinamo Bucharest of Romania. However, we are playing a leading team in the middle of their domestic campaign and we know how tough the challenge is going to be across both legs of this tie.

On the injury front, we will be without Mark Haughey and Josh Robinson for tonight’s game and we have several other players who have been carrying various niggly injuries but we are hoping that we will have as full a squad as possible, fit and available for selection for tonight’s hugely anticipated game.

All our players are aware of the proud reputation and heritage this club enjoys on the European stage and all of them are keen to add to the distinguished history of the club at this level. We are aware of some of the great European nights the club has enjoyed at this stadium and it would be great, if we could create more new and positive memories for supporters to talk about for years to come.

If we are to enjoy a good night this evening, our supporters will need to play their part. We need our supporters to be here in large numbers and creating a vocal and positive atmosphere, getting behind each and every one of our players, as we set about the task of taking a positive result to Norway for next week’s second leg.
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