Collins upbeat ahead of tie

Celtic assistant manager John Collins is confident the team are well prepared for the first leg of their UEFA Champions League second-round qualifier against KR Reykjavik.

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

John Collins: Celtic assistant boss is happy with the team's preparations

John Collins: Celtic assistant boss is happy with the team's preparations

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New Hoops boss Ronny Deila takes charge of his first competitive match since replacing Neil Lennon earlier this summer when the team play in Iceland on Tuesday evening.

Deila has yet to see Celtic lose in any of their four pre-season games, and Collins is happy with the squad’s level of fitness going into the tie.

While conceding the match could be tricky for the Scottish champions, Collins feels Celtic may be able to cause problems for Reykjavik.

"Of course it is a big test but we are looking forward to it,” Collins said. "That's three weeks that we have been back now, this is the big one.

"All the preparations have gone towards getting a good performance and good result.

"We have had four matches and the squad is getting fitter every day. We want to go there and try to score goals.

"We have watched them twice, we have had videos cut up so we know their strengths and weaknesses but at the end of the day it is about how we play.

"This is where Celtic want to be, we want to be on the big stage.

"We know we have to take care of this team, it won't be easy, it never is at the start of the season but we are looking forward to it."

Despite the absence of skipper Scott Brown (hamstring) and winger James Forrest (thigh) for the tie, Collins believes Celtic have the personnel to come back from Iceland with a positive result.

"It is obviously disappointing, two big players, certainly Scott our captain and leader, but we have to get on with it now,” Collins said.

"We have lots of other good players in the squad who have to step up and show that they can do a job for the team as well and I have no doubt they will."

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e'll be fine, no problem. If they do get relegated, he's definitely going to ask how anyone could ever have thought that Villa were going to be fine given their problems before he came.

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toke though. Hmn. I don't think it was defending that made people dislike Stoke so much as the out and out cheating/nastiness they regularly displayed. That, and they kept buying the odd flair player and then ruining them (Oh! Tuncay, what were you thinking?).

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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.

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