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

A

nd yet... Jermain Defoe is still going to pronounce himself gobsmacked when he learns he hasn't made the England squad for the Euro qualifiers.

treeman1
Premier League Winners And Losers

W

e could release Diaby and then re-sign him when nobody else does and he would literally be like a new signing.

john matrix
The Machine Gossip

W

e pay the living wage, living wage, living wage, and that's the way we like it, we like it, we like it!!! Wooo ohhhh ooooohh

hump3.
All Premier League Clubs Should Be Paying Living Wage

Footer 365

Louis van Gaal denies bust up with Man Utd assistant Ryan Giggs

Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal has hit out after he was asked about his relationship with Ryan Giggs.

Roy Hodgson says Harry Kane is ready to play for England but may have to wait

Roy Hodgson says Tottenham striker Harry Kane is ready to play for England but says it is not a certainty he will be called up.

Papiss Cisse faces seven-match ban after admitting FA charge

Newcastle's Papiss Cisse faces a seven-match ban after admitting an FA charge relating to Wednesday's spitting incident.

Mail Box

Have To Trust Managers On Mata

It's all very well bemoaning the lack of action for Juan Mata, but we have to trust the judgement of Van Gaal and Mourinho. Plus Martinez Out, and Leicester are doomed...

Should Gerrard Get In This Liverpool Side?

Never mind the long goodbye, should he actually get back into this excellent Liverpool side playing with pace? Mostly we talk Manchester United, though. It's good...

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