herald

Tuesday 6 December 2016

Lustig: We're going to make sure we don't mess up this time

Mikael Lustig
Mikael Lustig

Mikael Lustig is determined that Celtic will not mess up in the Champions League play-off this season.

The Hoops go into the first-leg against Swedish side Malmo at Parkhead tonight under some pressure after passing up on two chances to reach the group stages last season.

After being handed a reprieve following their 6-1 aggregate defeat by Legia Warsaw in the third-round qualifier due to an administration error by the Polish club, Ronny Deila's side then lost to Slovenian outfit Maribor.

Lustig admitted there was added determination this season to finish make the final step, after getting past Stjarnan of Iceland and Azerbaijan champions Qarabag in the previous two qualifiers.

Asked if past frustrations put extra importance on the Malmo match, the 28-year-old Sweden right-back said: "Yeah, of course, especially when we were in the Champions League the previous two seasons.

"It's just unbelievable to have Champions League games at Celtic Park.

"We're going to make sure we don't mess it up this year.

"We're ready, we've been solid in Europe so far. We played really good defensively against Qarabag, our confidence is good now so I think we are ready. All the players and the fans want Champions League football .

"After we went out of the Champions League last year we became a better team.

"We played okay in the Europa League and were very close to the treble but the aim is to reach the Champions League."

Ronny Deila has put his trust in his Celtic side to overcome Malmo. Speaking ahead of the first leg, he said: "I trust my team. We have played a lot of games now and I almost can't remember the last time we lost a game.

"The team is in good shape with a lot of confidence. So we will see how it is against Malmo. We want Champions League. I have said that since coming into this club. Now we have two games to reach it. We just have to be the best we can be."

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