After today’s great result at Pittodrie, Celtic are travelling to Kazakhstan, ready for the biggest game of the season. It was a close first half and the game changed when Don’s keeper Jamie Langfield brought down Georgious Samaras in the box. Langfield was sent off and Kris Commons scored from the spot to give Celtic the lead. Fraser Forster made a couple of good saves and then James Forrest added a second late on, in somewhat fortunate circumstances. Just over 20,000 fans packed out Pittodrie and a wonderful atmosphere was created. We still have players injured and we beat one of our main ‘challengers’ for this season away from home, something we must all feel good about. Now onto Kazakhstan.
The players are travelling across Europe this evening and they are in a confident mood going into the first leg of the playoff tie but there is still concern at the lack of a prolific striker in the Celtic ranks, there just seems to be no-one who is in the right place at the right time and the club have still failed to rectify this in the past week. This has been pointed out enough however, and it will be put right, but we have to go through the tie with what we’ve got and we have got more than a good enough team to see us into the group stages of the Champions League. We have the advantage that we are playing the first leg away from home so the deciding game will be played in front of our home fans and this is crucial. In all honesty, I don’t know too much about FC Shakhtar. I know they obviously won their league last season, and I know they won today 2-1 against Astana (…I have no idea either). They beat Bate Borisov in the previous round of the cup and that is not an easy tie to win, so they must have a bit about them.
Celtic have got to get used to conditions there in the next few days, they’re not too dissimilar to home so that shouldn’t be too difficult. Celtic have also got to take the Kazakhstan champions seriously, we’ve got to start the game brightly and show all of the quality we have. Lennon has spoke of his concern about the effects of travelling on the team and that will be tough, but it will be the same for the opposition in the tie, and if anything, better for us as again we have the second leg at home, so no excuses. We are ready for Kazakhstan.
If you’re going to support the Bhoys, tell me about the place and the stadium, I’ve never been. I hope the atmosphere our famous support will generate will push the Bhoys to a big away win.