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Europa League Group D

Shakhter boss remains calm

Shakhter Karagandy manager Viktor Kumykov has played down the importance of their UEFA Champions League play-off, second leg game with Celtic on Wednesday night.

Last Updated: 28/08/13 at 18:59 Post Comment

Viktor Kumykov: No pressure on Shakhter

Viktor Kumykov: No pressure on Shakhter

Kumykov's side won the first leg at home 2-0 and are on the verge of becoming the first club from Kazakhstan to qualify for the group stages of the competition.

They are already guaranteed a place in the group stages of the Europa League and Karagandy has stated he would be happy to compete in that event this season.

"There is an additional pressure on my shoulders, I feel that but it doesn't have to be Champions League," he said.

"It won't be a tragedy for us if we don't qualify to the Champions League group stages.

"As we stated before, the main task was to qualify for the group stage of a European competition and we have achieved this anyway.

"It may be even better if we don't qualify for the Champions League group stages because in football it is always better when you develop gradually."

Kumykov also confirmed they are likely to continue the tradition of sacrificing a sheep in the build-up to the game.

The Kazakh champions caused outrage when they killed an animal at the Astana Arena the day before their first leg victory and he admitted they may do the same before the second leg in Glasgow.

"All I can say is that every team and every club has its own pre-match traditions and rituals," he added.

"Celtic must have their own. We will try to respect our traditions and those traditions have been in place even before we came to the club."

Asked if the ritual would take place, he replied: "Possibly, yes."

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