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  • Taylor: We need to get job done in Riga and keep Euro campaign going

    Taylor: We need to get job done in Riga and keep Euro campaign going

    By: Paul Cuddihy in Latvia on 23 Sep, 2020 15:01

  • CELTIC venture back into Europe this Thursday night when they take on Riga FC in their UEFA Europa League third qualifying round tie.

    The Hoops have travelled to the Latvian capital intent on taking a step closer to the group stages of the competition, and after a run of three consecutive domestic wins following the international break, confidence is high within Neil Lennon’s squad that they can get the job done and move on to the play-off round.

    Speaking ahead of the tie, Greg Taylor said that it was important to ensure another European campaign for the rest of this year.

    “The gaffer’s stressed that it’s extremely important that we progress to the next round,” he said. “We want European football this season. It was disappointing to go out of the Champions League qualification but we’re in the Europa League now and our aim is to qualify for the group stage.

    “There’s never complacency within our squad. We’re fully focused on the next match at every time. At a club this size, it’s important to win every match and Thursday is no different.

    “We know it’s going to be a tough game and it won’t be easy. The onus is on us to put on a performance and do what we need to do to get the win.”

    European football this season takes on a different complexion, with most of the qualifying games being played as one-off ties. Having seen off KR Reykjavik in their first Champions League qualifier, the Hoops then suffered a home defeat at the hands of Hungarian side, Ferencvaros, and now find themselves in the Europa League.

    Thursday night’s game against Riga FC will be played to a finish, and the Celtic squad know there is no margin for error.

    “It’s vital that we perform on the night, and with it being a one-game tie, there’s no room to slip up,” said Taylor. “We’ll do our best to make sure that doesn’t happen.

    “Everyone misses the fans. You’ve probably seen from the results in the league that there hasn’t been any sort of home or away advantage. It’s certainly a leveller without fans.

    “We’re lucky that we have Broony as the captain, he’s a great motivator. We all have our own self-motivation but with Broony and the gaffer, we have great motivators there. There’s no lack of motivation within our squad.”

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