Of Course Celtic Can Still Escape This Group. But We Need At Least Six Points At Home.

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Celtic’s loss on Tuesday night has harmed our chances in this Group. I said before the game that I thought it was the worst fixture to start with, because playing away meant it was going to be difficult for us to win, but that playing the team most people regarded as the “weakest” of our three opponents made a firestorm certain if we didn’t win.

The idea of Feyenoord as the weakest team in the group is pretty absurd. We don’t know that. What we do know is that they are the current Champions in Holland, and they are scoring goals for fun in their domestic league. They are a damned fine side, led by an outstanding manager, and for a long time the other night we dominated them.

We played well. That does not make them a bad side. I said before the game that I was worried about the match because of their quality. But we held our own. And that does give me a bit more confidence that we can achieve something in this group.

But we must now win six points at home. Nothing less will do. I am not saying I expect it or demand it. I am saying that we need it. There is a nearly universal presumption that Feyenoord will drop points against the two other sides; I am far from convinced of that, but even if it’s true and they do wind up with defeats home and away against the other two sides we need to beat them by three to be sure we qualify in front of them with three points.

Three points are not going to get us there. Not a chance. We are going to need a minimum of six, and that means Feyenoord at home and one of the other sides … we cannot settle for less. Because I firmly believe that anything less than six points and we’re out.

Do I think we can get them? Hell yes, I do. Because if we play with discipline with the home crowd behind us, at Celtic Park on one of those special, Champions League nights, we are capable of it. Rodgers is capable of it. We do have good players.

We should not fear anyone at home.

Still, I am under no illusions about the size of this task. The Lazio of right now is not the one we beat in the Europa League some years ago and Atletico Madrid are the kind of side you would be in the least surprised to see in the latter stages of the tournament.

It will take two momentous performances, even accounting for the home advantage. But I am pleased with what I saw the other night in spite of the defeat. We have a chance. We’ll need to grab it with both hands though.

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  • Tony Oboyle says:

    We dominated them? Nonsense. We had a couple of opportunities that we lacked the composure to capitalise on. At no point did we dominate them.

  • Dan Cowie says:

    I was pleased with what I saw last season against Real Madrid and we know what happened after that, cannot see anything different this year. Take a bow Peter Lawell

  • John L says:

    I agree with you wholeheartedly, it’s certainly not beyond us. James, did you listen to the Mooch,s interview? He has them going deep in the competition before his team have even kicked a ball, the man is either deluded or has 1 amazing crystal ball. As for the old tosser at Clyde, he told a guy who phoned in last night that we had no chance of winning the return match against Feyenoord because we would have to do something we have not done for a long time and that is, win a champions league game, did this idiot not watch the game or does he just like beating us with the same old walking stick.

  • williebhoy says:

    I cannot understand fans saying Feyenoord are crap, they have done more in Europe than Celtic have done in the last 15+ years. Unbeaten at home I think for 15-16 games, a record we would die for, finalists in European competition last season.

    I thought for 45 mins we played very well indeed, lacking a real cutting edge up front (But I thought with Yang on the right & Maeda back on the left) we looked far more capable. Hatate with some games under his belt, we can win the return leg.

    I’m sure some fans still think we are top 50 side in Europe, but the truth is we are probably outside the top 100. Only the astute skills of BR will see us still in Europe after Xmas. We are clearly short of the power BR spoke about on his return, but 1 window was never going to solve ALL our problems. I think this competition has started a month too early for us but ever hopeful.

  • Johnny Green says:

    I expected us to get soundly beaten on Tuesday night, but we did better than I had anticipated against a good side, but who were still beatable. Then the fates conspired against us and it all went to ratshit.

    All we can do now is dust ourselves off and have a real go in every game that remains. Yes 6 points at home has got to be achievable in order to stay in Europe beyond Christmas, but hopefully we can do even better than that and get a result away from home also. It’s a tall order, but we have got to be positive and optimistic about our chances.

    I would also like Bernardo or Holm to grab a midfield role during that spell as I no longer rate Hatate. He has lost his mojo and is far to lackadaisical in his attitude, and with too many misplaced passes has become something of a liability. I don’t believe he was not fully fit on Tuesday, he was just not fully committed, he should be left on the bench and allow others the chance to perform in his place. Hopefully in the next two league games Brendan will give the new guys their chance to impress.

  • Kevan McKeown says:

    Think it’s no beyond us tae get at least 3rd spot. Of course arsehole jackson givin his ‘expert’ analysis tae the fine detail, on how bad OUR past European campaigns have gone, all just tae ’emphasise’ how bad we’ve done of course. Although providin a brief mention of his favourite club, he’ll never go intae such deep scrutiny of their failings. Whit a transparent prick he is.

  • Clachnacuddin and the Hoops says:

    Do-able for sure – Could actually be classed as a group of death in the context of below the financial level of the elite wealth (financially doped) clubs…

    One home win probably not enough but it’s that tight it could just be…

    Probably they’ll be a lot of draws in the group –

    Anyway – Just glad to be there and looking forward to the rest of it !

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