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Matthews targets group stage

Adam Matthews insists Celtic will not be taking Cliftonville lightly, but admits their target is to reach the UEFA Champions League group stage.

Last Updated: 25/06/13 at 09:48 Post Comment    Bet with SkyBet  Champions League Winner 13/14 Win Outright: Celtic 0/0

Adam Matthews: Hoping to embark on another European adventure

Adam Matthews: Hoping to embark on another European adventure

Neil Lennon's side enjoyed a memorable European adventure last season, with a famous victory over Barcelona helping them into the last 16.

Matching, or bettering, that achievement is now the challenge facing all of those at Parkhead - on the back of another SPL title success.

Matthews believes the Hoops should be gracing the latter stages of continental competition, but appreciates that they can take nothing for granted after being handed a tie against Northern Irish outfit Cliftonville in the second qualifying round.

He said in the Daily Record: "We've got to respect them and treat it like a Champions League game. We want to be in the group stage every season.

"That's our main goal so we'll play every game like we're up against Barcelona again or Juventus in the last 16.

"We want to get to the group stage again as we know we need to be playing at that level. We showed last season we can compete with the best teams.

"I know Cliftonville won their league comfortably. They're going to be a decent outfit and probably a good footballing team.

"We're focused on ourselves, we only had a short break so everyone has come back in good shape."

Bet with SkyBet  Champions League Winner 13/14 Win Outright: Celtic 0/0

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may well get slated by other United fans for this, but out of the three contenders, I'd far prefer Liverpool to win the title. Yes some elements of their fanbase can be a bit OTT, yes they're our biggest rivals and yes it will make our poor season feel even more like the end of an era (Fergie's gone, Liverpool are back on top). However I just have to applaud Brendan Rodgers and the way he's turned Liverpool around in just a couple of seasons. It...

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ooray! We are all excited now, we beat a very mediocre team! With all due respect to WHU supporters, not winning that game shouldn't even be a consideration. This is the problem, there is no winning mentality at the Emirates - we're all congratulating ourselves beating a team that we have a winning record against.

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s this meant to be an aspiration for United supporters? Moyes mediocrity strikes again. I see the Bayern boys don't want to sign for him, and his reputation amongst the senior European coaches make other key signings unlikely.

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