I’ll start with an interesting fact. Every time Celtic have faced Benfica in Europe we have progressed. Good omen in a group that some have already allocated the wooden spoon to us. Which only goes to prove some people who write about football don’t do their research.
Now this is our seventh time in the Champions League group stages on two occasions we have hit the last 16 and guess what? On both occasions Benfica where in our group.
On one occasion when we dropped into the UEFA cup we eliminated Barcelona and have also dumped Spartak Moscow. So what is there to fear? We have been written off before a ball is kicked.
What gives me hope that we can qualify? For one it takes a special team to take 3 pts from Celtic Park, Barcelona are that team. The other two? Good sides with skillful players but so where AC Millan,, Man Utd and Juventus. I’ll concede we do not have the quality available that we did then but we have a strong team spirit and a home support that would frighten any team.
The other thing that does give me hope is that under Neil Lennon our away form in Europe is steadily improving. This is with a so called rookie manager and a young team learning the ropes together.
We will of course miss big Sammy who seems to be in the business of terrifying defences these days especially on the counter but we’ll have to work with what we have.
The main thing is we the support turn up the volume and back the team to the hilt. Benfica will have a lot of the ball and that it when we must show our support. Forget the SPL results we all know they will be improved as our walking wounded return. Let’s concentrate on Wednesday night and forget the nae Sayers, Remember you’ve got to be in it to win it. Come on feel the noise !