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Plenty at stake for Celtic, says Collins

By December 9, 2015No Comments
Celtic, John Collins

John Collins insists there is still plenty at stake for Celtic but it is a game they could have done without as they prepare for their meaningless clash against Fenerbahce.

The Hoops travel to Turkey for their final Group A match with just pride to play for after the 2-1 defeat to Ajax eliminated them from the Europa League.

Tensions in the country have mounted in recent weeks after a Russian plane was downed by Turkish defence and the UK government has issued travel advice to fans attending the game.

And while assistant boss Collins is resigned to playing the match, he is hopeful the Hoops can finish with a flourish.

“We want to finish the campaign with a good performance and a victory,” he told reporters at Glasgow Airport.

“We will try to defend better than we have in the previous games and it’s preparation for next season [in Europe].

“There’s a lot at stake for the boys, there’s pride.”

On the tensions in the country, he said: “We have to put all that behind us and just focus on the football side.

“It’s business for us, we have no choice, but we’ll go in professionally and be prepared for the game.”

Celtic welcome back Kris Commons, who has missed the last four games with a hamstring complaint, and James Forrest, who was absent from the 3-1 victory over Inverness.

Fenerbahce can still qualify for the last-32 alongside Molde with a victory over the Hoops in the Sukru Saracoglu Stadium on Thursday.

The two sides met earlier in the campaign and had to settle for a share of the spoils after Celtic stormed to a two-goal lead but the Turks fought back to gain a 2-2 draw.