20 Feb Emanuel Mammana tells Celtic to be ready for intimidating atmosphere at Zenit
Zenit St Petersburg defender Emanuel Mammana has warned Celtic they face just as intimidating an atmosphere in Russia as their own fans produced in the first leg of their Europa League tie.
The Argentinian admitted he and his team-mates were affected by the Parkhead atmosphere as they fell to a 1-0 defeat last week thanks to Callum McGregor’s second-half strike. Celtic dominated throughout and were well worth their victory.
But the centre-back claims Zenit will overturn their deficit with no problems on Thursday.
The St Petersburg Stadium is heading for a 56,000 sell-out for the Russian side’s first match of the year following their winter break.
Mammana told Zenit’s official website: “We made a lot of mistakes at Celtic Park, we have carefully analysed what went wrong and watched the video.
“We’ve studied all aspects of their game to understand why it didn’t work out as we planned and to make the most of the 90 minutes we have at St Petersburg Stadium. It’s only half-time in the battle and the result is still unclear.
“We made quite a lot of mistakes during the match. Some very simple ones.
“There were a number of reasons for this, it being the first match after the break, the pressure from their crowd. I can admit it that we were very worried in the first few minutes, we constantly lost the ball when making some really basic passes.
“Of course, it was a shame to concede towards the end. After all, we could have come away with the score at 0-0 and now we would be in a better mood. But losing only 1-0 away in the knock-out rounds is also not a disaster.
“We will work on controlling the ball, passing, we will correct our mistakes and then in St Petersburg, I think we will win without any issues.
“We must always win at home. We are absolutely focused on the result and I hope the fans will help us with this too. I’m sure Celtic will feel the atmosphere in our stadium is comparable to theirs.”