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  • Tierney: Celts must start strong in Europa League opener

    Tierney: Celts must start strong in Europa League opener

    By: Tony Connelly on 19 Sep, 2018 16:27

  • KIERAN Tierney believes Thursday night’s game against Rosenborg will take on a different dynamic to when the two sides met earlier this season and has highlighted the importance of Celtic starting on the front foot.

    The Norwegian champions will return to Paradise tomorrow night to face Celtic less than two months after suffering a 3-1 defeat to the Hoops in the second round of Champions League qualification.

    Celtic knocked Rosenborg out over the two legs earlier this season, but with both teams drawn in Group B of the Europa League, they will meet for a fifth time in 14 months.

    Tierney featured in both games earlier this season which saw Celtic comfortably overcome the Nordic side, but the Hoops full-back admitted he and his team-mates were expecting a greater challenge this time round.

    “It’s going to be different to the knockouts,” he said. “It will be much more open. The way we bounced back from that game was magnificent. We showed character that night and hopefully we don’t do go behind this time, but if we do we know we can come back.

    “We know what we’re in for. We’ve played them and did our video analysis as well, I’m sure they have also, so it’ll be a tough game.

    “The start of the game will be important for us. We’ll look to get out sharp, press well and hopefully get a few goals.”

    Brendan Rodgers has made clear his aim to progress from the group which also includes FC Salzburg, RB Leipzig and Tierney echoed that ambition while recognising the scale of the challenge.

    “The aim is always progression. We would like to go through of course. The aim is to win all our home games and pick up what we can away.

    “We’re looking for an improvement from last year. We came third in the UCL group but didn’t do ourselves justice away from home, but if we can better that this year then that’s progression.

    “It’s going to be another tough test for us. Every game’s hard home and away and this will be no different. 

    “The Europa League is another great tournament. It’s a huge honour to represent Celtic at it as well. I’m grateful for the chances I’ve got here so if I can play in this game, then that’s brilliant. The crowd deserve it. They are with us in every game, home and away. Everything we do is for them so hopefully we can give them something to cheer about against Rosenborg.”

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