Ambrose targets last-eight spot

Efe Ambrose believes Celtic can reach the quarter-finals of the Champions League ahead of tonight's clash with Cliftonville.

Last Updated: 23/07/13 at 07:39 Post Comment   

Efe Ambrose: Optimistic about Celtic's chances of success

Efe Ambrose: Optimistic about Celtic's chances of success

Efe Ambrose believes Celtic can reach the quarter-finals of the Champions League this season.

The Parkhead side made the last 16 of the tournament last term, beating Barcelona on the way, before exiting to Italian giants Juventus.

On the domestic front, Neil Lennon's side retained their Scottish Premier League title and won the Scottish Cup and the Nigeria international is confident the Hoops can improve again on those achievements in this campaign.

Midfielder Victor Wanyama has left for Southampton and it is expected that top scorer Gary Hooper will depart, although he is back in the squad for tonight's Champions League second qualifying tie against Cliftonville after recovering from a groin injury which kept him out of last week's 3-0 win over the Irish part-timers in Belfast.

Defenders Virgil van Dijk and Steven Mouyokolo and striker Amido Balde have been recruited so far by Lennon, leaving Ambrose confident that this season can be even more fruitful.

"We set the target last year and we want to do better this year," he said.

"I don't think we have (the squad to do that) - I believe we have.

"I believe in what the manager has seen in them (new signings) and I believe they are good players. That is why they are here.

"We never rely on just two players. We rely on the whole team and the people on the bench.

"We can see the qualities of the players and we can do even more than what we did last year, if we put our mind to it and be determined to work harder."

The Celtic boss moved to dampen down any expectations Ambrose may raise among the Hoops support.

"It's a big ask," he said. "The short-term (goal) is to make the group stages and then take it from there.

"And we have difficult games to navigate as we go along.

"I like the optimism, I like the ambition but the reality is we are a long way off that just yet."


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