18 Oct Fright night
Erik Sviatchenko is looking for Celtic Park to put the frighteners on Borussia Monchengladbach on Wednesday night.
The Denmark defender is preparing for the Hoops’ third Champions League Group C fixture with the memory still fresh of an action-packed encounter with Manchester City last month when the 60,000-crowd rocked the Premier League super stars in a pulsating 3-3 draw.
Sviatchenko is hoping the Bundesliga outfit will be similarly affected at a place which he believes should be a fortress for the Scottish champions.
“When players and teams come here they need to be frightened,” he said.
“To draw a parallel to the City game you could see that they were struggling even though they are really big stars.
“So we will do our best to create that intensity in the game tomorrow and with the fans this combination will be good.
“My first experience against City in this tournament was really big, imagine being on the opposition side, feeling that pressure, especially in the last couple of minutes of the game when we needed their help?
“They were really helping us so if they can put in a performance like the last time, Gladbach will be a bit frightened.
“I think Monchengladbach might know that this place is difficult to play in anyway.
“If they were thinking that it was an easy game before the City game I think they will be a bit surprised because every game is a difficult game.”
Brendan Rodgers’ side have one point from two games while Monchengladbach have none.
Although Andre Schubert’s men are desperate to get off the mark, a home win would go some way to ensuring European football will continue for the Glasgow club after the New Year, if only in the Europa League.
The Gladbach boss has selection problems as it was confirmed on the German club’s official Twitter account that attackers Raffael, Thorgan Hazard and Fabian Johnson as well as defender Andreas Christiansen, on-loan from Chelsea, are out of the Parkhead game.
Asked if Celtic could take advantage of that depletion, the 25-year-old former FC Midtjylland defender said: “I think we can. I think every team can take advantage if key players are out.
“But it is mostly important to focus on what we have and look at the game as Celtic players.
“Everyone wants to do their best.
“If that means that we get a draw, victory or loss, we will see but we will do our best to perform like we did the last time against City.
“If we can get some of the same it will be to our advantage.”
Certainly, Sviatchenko declared himself to be at the top of his game and “playing the best that I have ever played,” putting it down to changes Rodgers has made since taking over from Ronny Deila in the summer.
“It is a combination of things,” he said. “Mentally I am in a really good place.
“I feel comfortable at the club, I have figured out my role and life around football is suiting us as a family.
“And the playing style suits me perfectly. The way the manager wants me to play, defending on the front foot, gives me the opportunity to shine.
“I would say structure and organisation on lots of things (is the big difference), and then the fitness of the players has been a big improvement and you see that now.
“We play a lot of games but no one is actually struggling to get through the games.
“The preparation has been done in pre-season and now we are maintaining that fitness.”