Collins: Huge step up for Celtic

Assistant manager John Collins says Legia Warsaw pose a major threat to his dream of Champions League football with Celtic this season.

Last Updated: 29/07/14 at 14:58 Post Comment

John Collins prepares to fly out to Poland for Champions League qualifier agains

John Collins prepares to fly out to Poland for Champions League qualifier agains

More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

Celtic booked a third-round qualifier against Legia with a 5-0 aggregate victory over KR Reykjavik last week but Collins insists the Polish champions will be a huge step up in class on Wednesday evening.

Speaking as the squad flew out from Glasgow Airport, Collins told Sky Sports News: "There is no doubt this will be a very tough match.

"We watched them against St Pat's in Dublin last week. They scored five goals, they're a good team but at this stage of the tournament you are not going to play against any mugs.

"I think there is no doubt that they are a step up in quality from Reykjavik. They are organised, quick and score goals and we are going to have to play well against them."

Sharper

But Collins is hopeful Celtic can emulate the heroics of Neil Lennon's side by reaching the group stages for the third successive season.

"I think we are getting fitter now," he said. "That's another hard week's training we have under our belt and the boys have trained really well and are looking sharper as every day goes by.

"We know it will be tough. They are Polish champions and they've spent money on strengthening their squad, but the squad we have is capable of reaching the group stages.

"Obviously we would like to add to the squad but we have plenty of good players at this club. The challenge now is to qualify for the Champions League. That is the big time and that is where we want to be."

And Celtic's latest recruit, Jo Inge Berget, is desperate to play his part in helping Collins, and manager Ronny Deila, book their place among the continent's elite.

Berget, a compatriot of Norwegian boss Deila, joined Celtic on a six-month loan deal from Cardiff on Monday and has flown to Warsaw with the remainder of the squad.

"The Champions League was a huge part in my decision to come to Celtic," he said. "I have been in the qualification stages twice before but never reached the group stages so hopefully we will get there.

"Whether or not I make my debut in Warsaw is not up to me, but I am able to play. Things didn't work out for me in Cardiff and I didn't play as much as I wanted to, but hopefully it will turn around for me at Celtic." 

Watch all the action from the group stages of the Champions League on Sky Sports 5 - the new home of European football which launches on August 12.

More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

W

ell that really inspires me with confidence. No point in training, deciding on a coherent formation, or playing players in their best positions, let's just hope we get lucky.

mumbo_jimbo
Van Gaal: Luck is key

I

believe this is because for sepp Christmas is a 7 day feast finishing on the 25th

hiya
Blatter calls for early final

F

alcao really needs to shine now. Apparently according to the stats, he scores more when played up front alone. I wonder if Van Gaal will actually apply a formation to get the best out of him though.

anthracyte
Van Persie lay-off expected

Footer 365

Mark Hughes angered by officials in Stoke win over Hull

Mark Hughes was pleased with Stoke's 1-0 win over Hull but angered after the officials missed a challenge on Stephen Ireland.

Sean Dyche downbeat after Burnley lose to Swansea defeat at Turf Moor

Burnley boss Sean Dyche says his side must start turning performances into wins after losing 1-0 to Swansea at Turf Moor.

Jonas Gutierrez wants top-10 finish for Newcastle after return

Jonas Gutierrez has targeted a top-10 finish with Newcastle after returning to the squad for the win against Aston Villa.

Mail Box

Are Tottenham Right To Redevelop?

It's a really good Friday afternoon Mailbox, with thoughts on Spurs' ground development, the Europa league (leave it alone) and one man running for a very good cause...

Rodgers Is More Of A Paisley Than A Rafa

Most Liverpool fans in the Mailbox are claiming to be pleased to see the back of the Europa League. Plus merging the Europa and Champions League, and winter WC...

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company