Red Bull Arena

Next Game

Salzburg v Celtic

Thursday, 18 September 2014, 18:00

Europa League Group D

Celtic Park

Last Game

Celtic 2 - 1 Aberdeen

Saturday, 13 September 2014, 12:45

Scots Prem

Brown: Qualification is key

Celtic skipper Scott Brown has stressed the importance of Champions League qualification ahead of their trip to Kazakhstan.

Last Updated: 20/08/13 at 15:17 Post Comment

Scott Brown: Stressed the importance of Celtic's Champions League qualificat

Scott Brown: Stressed the importance of Celtic's Champions League qualificat

More of the games that matter

2 years free Sky Broadband Unlimited for Sky Sports customers

Brown insists Celtic's players are well aware of what is at stake against Shakhter Karagandy in the first leg of their Champions League play-off tie in the Astana Arena on Tuesday night.

Entry into the lucrative group stages of the competition for the second successive season could inject around £20million into the Parkhead coffers.

The Scotland midfielder believes his team-mates are focused on the job in hand and in even better shape to take that next step than they were a year ago.

"The players understand how huge this is, how big Celtic are and why we should be in the Champions League," he said.

"The two ties are huge, the biggest of the season and we are only three or four weeks in.

"We were back really early, it was a hard pre-season but we are starting to see the benefits now.

"I feel we are fitter and sharper than this time last season.

"Not having long off during the close season has helped get up to match speed quicker.

"But it is going to be very hard. We have seen videos of our opponents. A draw is a good result for us going back to Celtic Park."

Celtic will be asked again to play on an artificial surface after overcoming plastic pitches in earlier qualifiers against Cliftonville and Elfsborg.

Brown, though, is taking it in his stride, adding: "I don't think it is ideal for a qualification for the Champions League but we played on plastic in the last round in Elfsborg so we know what to expect."

More of the games that matter

2 years free Sky Broadband Unlimited for Sky Sports customers

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

R

icky van Wolfswinkel's remarkable record of one goal from one game at least deserves an honourable mention. And I'm willing to bet that at least one of Costa, Ulloa or Enner Valencia will earn a place on the list by the end of the season. Probably not Costa

stevenjameshyde
Top Ten PL Strikers Who Started Like A Train...

I

will also give up birthday Christmas and bacon for this to happen

badwolf
Ronaldo return ‘in place’

P

lease let this happen. I'll have it as a birthday AND Christmas present if that will help.

de gea bar
Ronaldo return ‘in place’

Footer 365

Daley Blind backs Louis van Gaal's brutally honest approach at Manchester United

Daley Blind says Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal's brutally honest manner is good for team-building.

Premier League: West Ham come from behind twice at Hull City to earn 2-2 draw

West Ham twice came from behind to earn a battling 2-2 draw with Hull City in an entertaining clash at the KC Stadium.

Champions League: 'Arsenal have made some good signings', says Dortmund coach Jurgen Klopp

Jurgen Klopp believes Arsenal made a number of strong summer signings and expects them to be tough opponents on Tuesday.

Mail Box

Forget it, Ronaldo Won't Come Back

A varied morning mailbox, with thoughts on Ronaldo, Daley Blind = Michael Carrick, Ed Woodward redemption, stick with Pardew, QPR's name change and marbles...

Woke Up This Morning Feeling Fine...

Man United fans are a more than a tad excited, Liverpool fans are a little depressed and we have mails on Mesut Ozil, Newcastle, Aston Villa and lots more...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property