Davie Hay: Celtic's recent Euro run must be halted tonight

LET'S get one thing straight, there's no such thing as a Celtic game at the Nou Camp with nothing at stake.

Loading Comments
Share
Print
Game in Milan was the best Celtic have played in the group
Game in Milan was the best Celtic have played in the group

Okay, Neil's side can't finish any higher than fourth in the group, which is such a huge disappointment for everyone, given how well they did last season.

But, no one at the club will want to finish the campaign without rediscovering the kind of form they were showing before the two disappointing performances against Ajax in Amsterdam then when AC Milan came to Parkhead.

That's not what they want to carry with them all the way through to the start of next season's European campaign.

They will be determined to get back to the form they showed in the first three games of the group, especially the opening match in the San Siro which was the best they have played in any of the five ties.

Of course, they didn't take anything from that game in Milan, even though they deserved to. That was down to a failure to take the chances they created, a recurring problem for them in the Champions League this term.

In the last two games, those chances have dried up. But, it has been the overall level of performance which will have caused Neil most concern.

Having Scott Brown back will help because, when he is in the team, the level of performance is not allowed to drop to the low point it did when they lost to Ajax and Milan in Glasgow.

People will be watching closely to see how he reacts when he meets up again with Neymar. If it was me, I'd just ignore him and put the entire incident behind me.

Celtic appeared to have found the answer to their infamous poor away form, but Amsterdam showed it is not too far below the surface as they slipped back into bad habits.

If they can put in a good performance in the Nou Camp, it will provide proof this was just a blip - albeit a costly one.

Finishing bottom of the group is no disgrace as that is where Celtic's seeding says they should finish.

But, expectation was raised - perhaps unreasonably - after last season's exploits when they over-achieved.

Taking the last few years as a whole, no-one can be over-critical of Celtic.

It's just the last couple of games which have been the real disappointment, and tonight can restore belief for everyone.

That will be important as they don't want to have any question marks hanging over their heads when the qualifiers begin again next summer.

And, when the final whistle goes tonight, let's hope we are only talking about what the players did, not about fans' behaviour.

The eyes of Europe will be on the Celtic supporters after the behaviour of some recently.

After Friday's events, the club had no option but to act in the way they did.

Let's hope the strong message finally sinks in.

Football

Commenting & Moderation

We moderate all comments on Evening Times on either a pre-moderated or post-moderated basis. If you're a relatively new user then your comments will be reviewed before publication and if we know you well and trust you then your comments will be subject to moderation only if other users or the moderators believe you've broken the rules

Moderation is undertaken full-time 9am-6pm on weekdays, and on a part-time basis outwith those hours. Please be patient if your posts are not approved instantly.

145109

Have you got a story?

Contact the news desk on 0141 302 6520 or email news@eveningtimes.co.uk
            Michelle McManus            
                       

Michelle McManus

                       

Sussed in the City

                       

What Robert De Niro and my mum have in common

           
Free swim at a Glasgow Club pool for every reader - Click here

Entertainment

Lifestyle

Wedding
Janice Bell

Janice Bell

You couldn’t make up half the stuff that happens to PA Janice Bell- some of the jams she gets herself into are worth a story or two.

                Games news:                
                               

Putting the world to rights

                               

Gail's Gab

                               

Embrace the sun but be careful

               
Cat’s Eyes on Glasgow

Cat’s Eyes on Glasgow

Cat Cubie’s job is to find and share with you the fabulous things the city has to offer, from gigs to gastro.