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

F

irst Townsend, now Chiles. What next ITV? Comedy that you can actually watch without vomiting up your own spleen? I'll be sad to see Matt Smith go though. I actually quite like him. Plus, he was good in Doctor Who.

sailingmagpie
Adrian Chiles to leave ITV

H

e's like Jay from Inbetweeners. Could've had him, had him, didn't want him, turned him down.

lee
Wenger criticises work permits

A

wful, awful pundit. He was crap on BBC, and offered a little more analysis than Robbie Savage - apart from the delivery of banality in a sexy accent. Also, as I'm Irish he'll never be more then a slimy, hand-balling f**ker in my eyes.

batdog
Football People On TV: Thierry Henry

Footer 365

Sepp Blatter shrugs-off UEFA's challenge to his leadership as 'lacking courage'

Sepp Blatter tells UEFA “they do not have the courage” to sufficiently challenge his leadership at this year's election.

Transfer news: Sam Allardyce unsure whether Darren Fletcher will join West Ham

Manager Sam Allardyce admits he is unsure whether Darren Fletcher will choose to join West Ham or another club.

Transfer news: Wigan close to signings of Chris Herd from Aston Villa and Jason Pearce from Leeds

Wigan are close to signing Aston Villa's Chris Herd on loan and Leeds' Jason Pearce permanently, Sky sources understand.

Mail Box

Appalling, Slow, Pathetic, Embarrassing

It's a bonus Saturday Mailbox, with plenty of reaction to the most alarming 0-0 draw in Manchester United's recent history. At what point do we worry about Louis van Gaal?

Why Do Man United Look So Impotent?

It's all very well talking about formations and United's defensive problems, but shouldn't their expensive attacking options be doing better? And we talk psychology...

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