Jozo Simunovic has insisted that the first goal in Spain on Thursday night can offer Celtic hope of an unlikely comeback against Valencia.

In a disappointing night at Celtic Park, Brendan Rodgers’ side lost the opening leg of the last 32 Europa League clash 2-0 with the Spaniards in complete control of the game.

Simunovic, though, has maintained that Celtic need to approach the return leg this week with the belief that they can still cause an upset.

The first goal in the tie at the Mestalla stadium will be crucial in how they tie plays out. Few would harbour any genuine suspicion that Celtic can give themselves a lifeline on the evidence of the first 90 minutes of the tie, but Simunovic has vowed that the Parkhead side can acquit themselves in a more positive light.

“It can be a different game for sure,” said the defender. “On Thursday night as well we had lots of the ball on our legs but we need to be better with it. It is very simple. We need to play at a better level and be better in the counter attack. If we do that we have a chance.

“There are a lot of things there but it is very simple. We need to be better. If we are better then we have a chance. Very simple.

“It was a disappointing result but we have another chance to play next week.

“We have to believe and we want to believe. We will see next week. We will try to fix the result.

“I think we have a chance.”