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Lustig: Hoops must not go gung-ho to overturn Juventus

CELTIC full-back Mikael Lustig has warned his team-mates they cannot afford to go on all-out attack as they try to overturn Juventus' Champions League lead.

The Hoops travel to Turin tomorrow with only the faintest hopes of stunning the Old Lady in the last-16 second leg following their 3-0 defeat in Glasgow last month.

But Lustig, who will remain behind in Scotland alongside captain Scott Brown after both picked up injuries, realises a gung-ho approach will only see the Scottish Bank Premier League champions cut open again.

Celtic conceded early in the first leg as Alessandro Matri pounced and were then hit with two late sucker-punches when Claudio Marchisio and Mirko Vucinic both struck as Neil Lennon's men desperately sought a goal to take with them to Italy.

Having learned that harsh lesson, Lustig believes the manager will have to remain cautious – even given Juve's commanding lead.

He said: "We need to try to go forward and score some goals, but if we are too open in how we think, then Juventus are a really good team and will have a really good chance to score.

"So we will need to take it a little bit easy."

Proud

Meanwhile, former Celtic assistant manager John Robertson reckons Celtic can be proud of the work they have done on the continent this year.

Martin O'Neill's former right-hand man has been impressed with a set of performances that included the club's first-ever away win in the Champions League group stages against Spartak Moscow and that famous Parkhead victory over Barcelona.

Now he is refusing to count out the chances of a third remarkable result.

Robertson said: "Getting to the last 16 was an incredible achievement because, in my opinion, the Barcelona team are the greatest that has ever been.

"So, for Celtic to overcome them – and nearly get something in Barcelona too – was fantastic. A fabulous achievement.

"You don't beat Barcelona unless you are a very decent team.

"Can a miracle happen in Turin? Realistically, everybody will tell you no. Not many teams come back from there with a result.

"But until the tie is over, there has to be hope. Why can't we go over there and get a result?"

Robertson was O'Neill's assistant when the Northern Irishman lured compatriot Lennon north of the border in a £5.75m switch from Leicester in December 2000.

It was during that time that he first saw leadership qualities in Lennon.

He said: "Neil has always been an intelligent lad and as a footballer, he was a very, very intelligent player too.

"He spoke well and knew the game, so it was no surprise to me that he would go on and become a manager."

Robertson was at Hampden yesterday to help conduct the draw for the Scottish Cup semi-finals.

Celtic were paired with Dundee United and will meet at Hampden on either April 13 or 14.


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