12 Sep Step by step in the Champions League for PSG
Paris St Germain coach Unai Emery has acknowledged the increased pressure on him to succeed in this year’s Champions League, but will not underestimate Celtic in Tuesday’s opener.
The French side stunned the football world by prizing Neymar from Barcelona for £200.6million, and followed that up by adding teenage sensation Kylian Mbappe for a deal reported to be around £166million.
Those two deals, along with the addition of Dani Alves, have seen the expectation increase on Emery to deliver European glory after several frustrating exits.
Emery admitted the stakes were higher this year following a busy summer.
He said: “I know it is a big objective for the club, but we are doing and feeling well, the players are doing well but I know it will be difficult.
“The important thing is to see progress, step by step.
“I know I have a lot of responsibility because I have a lot of good players at my disposal and there are some good teams in the Champions League, and Celtic is one of them.
“We will need to be careful because at home, Celtic put in a lot of intensity.”
He added: “I don’t know (if PSG are favourites for the Champions League), but with the players and quality we have we should get close this year.
“Preparation is everything. We have prepared well all week but we must give Celtic the respect they deserve.
“We are aiming to go far. The atmosphere is incredible and they try to share the pressure together. It will be difficult but we are ready.”
PSG will come up against an in-form Celtic side who are unbeaten in 54 domestic matches, and showed signs of promise in the group stages last year.
Two draws against Manchester City hinted at Brendan Rodgers’ side’s potential – with a 3-3 home draw one of the matches of the competition – and Emery is under no illusions just how tough it will be in Glasgow.
He said: “It is a great atmosphere here. All the players love to play in this type of game, but the players are used to that level and that type of atmosphere.
“It will be difficult to overcome, but we must try.”