Lustig hopes for Swede dream on his homecoming
By: Paul Cuddihy on 20 Aug, 2012 10:13
MIKAEL Lustig is looking forward to going back home to Sweden this week as the Celtic team fly out today ahead of their vital UEFA Champions League play-off clash with Helsingborgs.
But there will be no divided loyalties for the Swedish defender, because he’s determined to play his part in helping Celtic get a good result in the first leg of the tie.
Lustig and his team-mates go into the match on the back of an impressive away win against HJK Helsinki in the previous round of the competition, but the Hoops know they face dangerous opponents.
“Helsingborgs see themselves as the underdogs and they have everything to aim for,” said Lustig. “And they are a better team than Helsinki.
“They’re pretty strong and they’re on a good run just now so they have a lot of confidence. I’ve seen some of their games this season and we are going to meet a very good team.
“They didn’t have a great start to the season, but they’ve been playing really well recently and are scoring a lot of goals.”
The prize at stake is a coveted one for both teams – a place in the group stages of the UEFA Champions League. And Lustig is determined to ensure it will be Celtic’s name in the pot when that draw is made.
“It’s the Champions League and you always dream about playing in that competition,” he said. “It would be great for every player if we can qualify – it’s a chance to play at the highest level of European football.”
And while Celtic had to settle for a 1-1 draw at the weekend away to Ross County, Lustig believes that the game also showed the character of the team.
“We wanted the three points but we need to be happy to have scored a last-minute equaliser,” he said. “We showed why we’re the champions. We didn’t want to lose and we kept going.”