Are we heading for another summer of discontent?

Another summer, another Champions League exit. Celtic are fast becoming a club who can no longer compete in Europe’s premier club competition.

Since the competition introduced the group phase in 1992, Celtic have reached the group stage on ten occasions. All of them in this century.

Martin O’Neill (3), Gordon Strachan (3), Neil Lennon (2) and Brendan Rodgers (2) have all taken us there. Each manager has had varied results, but as time goes by we seem to be losing more and more ground.

The task of getting into Europe is harder and the qualifying period is like a tournament all of it’s own. Even though we are aware well in advance of the path we must take, it never seems to get any easier.

Our previous season is barely finished and we’re back at it again. “Champions League you’re having a laugh” indeed.

Champions are eliminating one another before the tournament proper and just so we can play against teams who finished second, third and fourth in their respective leagues with a handful of actual “champions” involved. It is beyond farcical.

Our most recent exit has been met with outrage from our fans. And who can blame them?

Brendan Rodgers, who left in February in an unforgivable manner, had a disastrous time last summer. This was a huge catalyst in his exit earlier this year.

We exited the Champions League in the playoff stage at the hands of AEK Athens amidst a terrible transfer window and want away players. This year, we didn’t even make the playoffs and now have a Europa League playoff to contend with as a last resort to secure European football until Christmas.

I don’t blame this squarely on transfer failings. We bought three defenders, a bunch of youngsters and even had a couple of signings from the January transfer window awaiting a chance.

Yes, we have positions yet to be filled, but our ranks are not depleted. What we’ve failed to do is impose ourselves as a home side in a crucial match and that comes down to the manager.

Over the past month Neil Lennon had built up a bit of belief and respect. It put many of the support, myself included, in a positive frame of mind for ever doubting his appointment as full time manager in the first place.

The 1-1 draw in Romania was good, especially having initially fallen behind. The return leg was anything but a formality so what the hell went wrong?

A bizarre lineup was the first error. A deployment akin to the Brendan Rodgers mistake at Ibrox in December 2018 was utter madness by Neil Lennon.

Callum McGregor, one of our best midfielders, dropped in at left back/wing back. I meam what was he thinking?

We had £10m worth of defensive signings sitting on the bench. Neither of which were rolled out for this one.

Instead we opted to play some half-arsed set up in a crucial tie. Total madness.

Boli Bolingoli may still be finding his feet, but dropping him to play one of our best midfielders out of position is unforgivable. We bought these guys for the very reason that they needed to play, not as backup.

You can’t blame the board for this one. They spent the money and Neil Lennon hasn’t used the players he wanted.

So because of this monumental bloomer by a manager we had reservations about, though were beginning to warm tlll, we’re now all questioning his ability once again. I haven’t heard him take responsibility for his actions and that is something he has done since the day he took over from Tony Mowbray.

The cost of this could be great. Not only are we out of the running in the big money competition, but we’ve killed any chance of further serious additions to rebuild.

Neil Lennon stated prior to this match that we needed to offload before we could buy more players. That was probably based on squad size and player salaries.

Now we’re in a situation where we may need to stick with players who were earmarked for an exit. Worst still, off load those players and replace with inferior quality ones.

Even if the Europa League group stage was reached, there’s nowhere near the same amount of money to convince the board to cough up the same funds, had we reached the Champions League group stage. This ‘plan’ has backfired badly.

At this point I do not know what the best way forward is. It seems certain we’re likely to sell players like Scott Sinclair who have been frozen out, but the replacements are unlikely to achieve the same kind of stats.

If this is the way we are headed then the club should just put us out of our misery and do it. Keep selling the crown jewels and do whatever it is you want to do with the money.

We are giving our rivals a serious incentive to topple our crown. Is that our goal?

Hail! Hail!

Stevie Mac

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Mistakes are costly at the highest level

When are you vying for a place in the group stage of the Champions League you have to make good decisions. The second leg between Celtic and Cluj was riddled with bad ones.

Without trying to deflect from Celtic’s many errors, I want to mention the match official. The referee had a shocker and failed to clamp down on Cluj’s continual fouling whilst happy to dish out punishment to Celtic with great ease.

This kind of handling of the game allowed Cluj to carry on unpunished for a long spell. Despite not playing the same way, Celtic suffered cautions without the same leeway.

Celtic’s biggest problem though was themselves. The set up from the outset was all wrong.

Neil Lennon obviously didn’t see the game at Ibrox last December. If he had he’d have known Callum McGregor shouldn’t play left back.

Our midfield was all over the place and had to endure a first half of errors. Half time saw a much more positive approach but up until then Celtic had failed to impose themselves as the home side.

Even with the glut of goals that followed Celtic kept shooting themselves in the foot. I won’t catalogue them, it’s still a raw wound.

Shipping four goals at home though is reckless. The blame goes squarely on Neil Lennon and his players.

Everyone is at fault. It isn’t our transfer activity or anything else.

We had more than enough to deal with Cluj. There is nobody to blame but ourselves.

Now we have one last throw of the dice to stay in Europe until Chrismas. AIK are 2-1 up from their away leg against Sheriff Tiraspol and play the second leg on Thursday.

We will play the winners. At this stage you’d have to say AIK are favourites.

With the Champions League cash now gone we can forget about strengthening the team the way we’d have hoped. Expect bigger exits than entrances.

You got this one spectacularly wrong Bhoys. I’m off to drown my sorrows in the Canadian wilderness.

Hail! Hail!

Stevie Mac

Reasons to be cheerful

Celtic have sold a number of players for substantial money over the years. A trend we have learned to familiarise ourselves with as supporters of our club.

So now, when a player reaches a certain point in their Celtic career, we know it is inevitable that they will likely move on. It is the reality of the situation that a club as big as Celtic find themselves in due to constraints of the domestic setup they exist within.

Even with that expectation, Celtic can offer more to a prospective talent than other Scottish clubs. They can also do this whilst operating within their financial means.

Be it nurtured talent or the kind procured from other teams, leagues and countries, there is a platform of opportunity, progression and success at Celtic. Our club has served as a career path that has satisfied guys like Scott Brown and James Forrest, but we accept that some will utilise us as a conduit to England and beyond.

We can’t hold players against their will however much we provide them with. However, some have jumped ship when the timing or opportunity hasn’t been right for them like Liam Miller or Gary Hooper.

That is not to say that Celtic haven’t cashed in when it suited them more than it did the player, such as Aiden McGeady. We must be mindful of that, but it is also very much part of the game.

There’s a lot to be positive about despite the players the club could lose in any of the two transfer windows each year. With Kieran Tierney being a huge loss this summer, there are plenty of examples of why we have a good future to enjoy.

On the whole, Celtic have a very good squad. We’ve recruited some senior and junior players.

To allow the team to evolve, some players will depart. We can speculate about Scott Sinclair, Olivier Ntcham or even Jozo Simunovic but the reality is we do not know how things will shape up in these remaining weeks of the transfer window.

What we do know is that there will be further movement. I don’t expect we’ll get everything right, but I think we’ll get a few more changes before the end of August.

Even though many of us weren’t overly keen on Neil Lennon taking the permanent role again, I’ve been pleased by what he’s done thus far. I’ve never stopped liking Neil and when he was at Hibs, I even discussed in my own circles that I’d like to see him back at Celtic one day.

Like Neil, I never thought it would be this soon, but there you go. Perhaps this is the right time.

He’s beginning to put his own emphasis on the gameplay unlike when he took over in February. An obvious factor that many fans overlooked and gave him pelters for.

His style is very different to his predecessor’s and he has an interest in developing young talent and a genuine love for the club. We have some exciting young players already making their way in the senior team and some increasing their game time under Neil.

Others will follow, but I think it is incredibly significant that I can get just as excited about our youth players as I do those who we bought from elsehwere. I recall an era when Celtic just weren’t producing the goods from our younger ranks.

I think our talent flow has be pretty steady and is beginning to create a system of belief because the opportunity to play is realistic. James Forrest was unleashed by Neil Lennon during his first spell and before he left, Callum McGregor was sent out on a very successful loan spell at Notts County which paved the way for a role in the Celtic first team upon his return to Glasgow under Ronny Deila.

Liam Henderson was another player who was given his first chance under Neil Lennon. I was actually disappointed that the club saw fit to move him on to Italy.

Darnell Fisher was another young player I thought demonstrated some good potential. He found himself surplus to requirements though under Lennon’s successors.

Tierney is one who we’ll forever remember has one of our brightest talents of the 21st century and despite never having being introduced to the first team by Neil, he is a fine example of what the club have produced. He’s been in great company too with other guys like Mikey Johnston and Ewan Henderson making their way into the Hoops.

There are of course others who may or may not pin down a first team place as others have such as Anthony Ralston, Jack Aitchison or Conor Hazard. There is plenty to sing about though with the likes of Karamoko Dembele on the books.

These are just the players that we know about and under the correct leadership we will see more talent getting blooded and I think Neil Lennon is the right guy to do that. He will still buy players to step straight into the team, but he won’t ignore good prospects either.

The array of talent at his disposal right now is very encouraging and we’re seeing guys like Kris Ajer and Lewis Morgan impose themselves in the managers plans. Our newest players will need more time to settle into life in Glasgow, but I think we are heading in the right direction under Neil Lennon.

He’s already coming across as a more mature manager in his second spell as manager. The football is good to watch and results have been positive so far.

There is of course work to be done over a period of time. I’m optimistic about the future though and the efforts I’ve seen so far.

This evening Celtic have Cluj to contend with in Glasgow. It’s a huge game for both sides and at 1-1 from the first leg, very much a tie that hangs in the balance.

Cluj head coach Dan Petrescu has reportedly been at the mind games in the build up. How much of that has been misinterpreted or exaggerated isn’t a concern for me.

Neil Lennon knows what needs to be done here. He’ll have a game plan and no matter what Petrescu has or hasn’t said doesn’t matter.

Our manager will want a home victory and possibly even a clean sheet. It was a tricky game in Romania, but Celtic came back with a decent result.

The hard work is far from over though. I think Cluj will play the same way so it is Celtic who will have to impose themselves more.

Years ago I’d have been wary of going up against a European opponent with such a young side. However, we have a team of believers right now.

Last year I wouldn’t have even suggested playing Mikey Johnston in a match like this. Now, I’d have no qualms about using him in the starting lineup such is his ability to open up a defence.

The same goes for Kris Ajer. He is a colossus and can impose himself in games in the way that Johan Mjallby used to.

Even though these guys have things to learn, they can still do it on the big stage. That doesn’t mean they can’t learn and contribute at the same time.

We have a good blend in the squad right now of youth and experience. If we get through tonight’s game we may see more movement with the team.

Hail! Hail

Stevie Mac

Domestic prowess

Celtic coasted to a 5-2 win at Fir Park on Saturday lunchtime. A good response to a tough couple of days in the Celtic community.

Although Motherwell took the lead in the 12th minute, Celtic responded just two minutes later after James Forrest played in Kris Ajer. The finish was very cool from the big guy and I’m loving his evolution in this Celtic team.

Then Celtic took the lead after Leigh Griffiths drilled home a low drive from a free kick into the far corner of the Motherwell goal. His return to the Celtic squad has been a welcome boost this season and his ability is an import option for the manager.

In the second half James Forrest turned goal taker and increased the lead after receiving a cut back from Boli Bolingoli. Forrest showed good close control to smash home a left foot shot which beat the Motherwell keeper from close range.

Then it was time for substitute Odsonne Edouard to have his say. Olivier Ntcham played the ball from wide using the outside of his right foot, finding the waiting Edouard who stayed calm and unleashed a terrific finish from the edge of the box.

Celtic were not finished though and made the home side suffer some more. After Edouard was fouled in the box, another of Celtic’s rising stars continued to rubber stamp his importance in this team.

Ryan Christie, on for Ntcham, stepped forward and smashed home another goal from the penalty spot to complete the Steelmen’s misery. Despite scoring two goals either end of Celtic’s five, it was an outright victory for the Champions.

We’re only two games into the domestic season and Celtic have scored 12 goals. If they keep that up, they’ll surpass last season’s total of 77 goals.

So domestically, a good start overall and in Europe, more hard work ahead of us. Don’t let that deflect from the negative narrative though.

As a supporter group were fond of criticising the media for bringing us down at every opportunity. Most of what I’ve read recently has been from our own supporters being dissatisfied with our new players, lack of transfer activity or whatever takes their fancy.

Bolingoli has been getting it tight from many sections of the support and some of it is even warranted. Our expert player review panelists have already passed judgement saying that they’ve seen enough though and that he isn’t good enough for Celtic.

This mindset within our fan base is damaging. Keep it up and you’re contributing to any such downfall.

How about getting with the program and backing the new guys? I’ve even picked up on one or two negative comments about Christopher Jullien, a player we’ve seen very little of to form an opinion.

It seems that whatever the situation, fans will somehow find a way to portray it negatively. If we were once seen as being paranoid I’d say now we’re being more spoilt and pessimistic.

What privileged times these punters must have lived in as Celtic fans. We’ve embarked upon a new campaign with a new manager and trying to evolve with new players.

Our transfer dealings aren’t over. We have more work to do for the long term.

I’m pleased with our work thus far. That doesn’t mean I think we just stop there.

If we get past Cluj on Tuesday, Celtic will be in Europe regardless of what happens in the playoffs. So Celtic will need to bankroll some further squad strengthening to make a go of it.

Neil Lennon has intimated that he still plans to offload, but who, when and why we’ll have to wait to discover. There’s no doubting we have a good squad, but were not fully set in all areas.

So far though, I’m pleased with our progress and I think there is more to be positive about than folk are actually discussing. The club just need to continue the good work and we need to throw our support behind that until we actually have something to complain about.

Hail! Hail!

Stevie Mac

Cluj, KT and the future.

If someone had offered me a 1-1 draw in Romania before Wednesday’s match, I’d have bitten their hand off. Having walked away from that game with that result, I’m more than satisfied.

Cluj could have driven Celtic to a miserable result, but they didn’t. Despite becoming less effective as the game wore on, Celtic clung onto a draw.

I think the game was very even at times, but there were also periods where Celtic were being sloppy and could have been punished. In fact a lot of the post-match focus has been on the negative stuff despite some of the opportunities that came Celtic’s way throughout .

Some of this probably has been aided by the fact Celtic were about to lose their best ever homegrown talent of the 21st century. I wasnt affected by that due to watching the game – minus any headlines – sone 24 hours later in Canada, but i’ll come to KT later.

Having lost a sloppy goal to Cluj, I felt Celtic may go under. They proved me wrong though and responded with a equaliser.

The second half looked as though Neil Lennon’s players were becoming less effective. Cluj were desperate for a better result and it showed in their determination, but frustration was beginning to set in with their play and as the game headed toward the final whistle Celtic looked like they could score towards the end.

The 1-1 draw supposedly puts Celtic in a better position, but I’d wary of that. Whilst a score draw with an away goal has its advantages, Cluj will battle tooth and nail at Celtic Park, you can be sure of that.

I was pleased with our tempo at times, but we also made basic errors and our link up play was missing via the midfield. When we play in that broken fashion we put our defenders under pressure which was evident throughout.

A lot of the negativity was aimed at Bolingoli and rightly so. He was caught out numerous times but it wasn’t all down to him.

He has made errors since arriving, but I see a player in there. Wednesday night was far from his finest 90 minutes, but we won’t help his future by bashing him now.

With Kieran Tierney gone now, expectations are high on him as the replacement. Let’s be realistic and give the guy a break, KT was phenomenal and we’ve lost a player that will be difficult to replace.

We knew it was inevitable that we’d lose Kieran one day. I’m having trouble accepting that even with the long term knowledge.

I wish the young guy all the best but I’d have loved another two years. He’d have had more options, but it is his choice and I hope his career continues to bloom because he’s a special talent.

What now for Celtic then? A huge talent lost, but we move on because we must.

It’s a new era at the club and Neil Lennon has the responsibility of creating that. He’s never really benefited from Kieran as a player so as a manager he may never truly know what he has lost other than from a fans point of view.

We can mourn the loss of KT, but we won’t gain from doing so. The money has to help rebuild this team’s future.

That should be the legacy of Kieran Tierney. He moves on and so does the club.

We go into next week’s game at Celtic Park with a favourable result, but it is far from over. Get past this round and we have another big hurdle to overcome.

Regardless of whether we end up on the Champions League or Europa League path next, we have to invest. It’s time to plan for the future and Kieran Tierney’s departure is the best example of that.

Nurture, advance, profit, reinvest. That is the duty of the club.

If we do anything but reinvest the money from this sale, then we piss all over the club and its history. We’ve allowed one of our most prized possessions to go for a fee which whilst large does not fill the emotional void it has created.

Now the club must honour the fans, the team and the manager. Give Neil what he needs and don’t wait for things to go wrong.

The time is now. We believe in Neil Lennon.

Hail! Hail!

Stevie Mac

Celtic must carry some of the weekend’s dominance into tonight’s match in Romania

Celtic began their domestic season with a phenomenal match on Saturday. And if this is the shape of things to come under Neil Lennon we could be in for a fantastic season.

Seven great goals without reply and a non-stop juggernaut performance by every Celtic player was a joy to watch. I don’t think anyone would have predicted such a scoreline in an opening domestic game home or away.

St Johnstone are a decent side and I rate Tommy Wright as a manager. However, Celtic barely gave his team a sniff as they kept at them in the both the first and second halves of the match.

The last two seasons haven’t been as exciting to watch and yet we have a treble treble with 9-in-a-row the next target. I’ve actually watched Celtic play better over some seasons and fail to win the treble.

Whether another treble is on the cards this season or not, is not my concern. Two fronts must be our priority – the league and the Champions League.

The league is not just our bread and butter. It’s our only way into the tournament that delivers the big money.

We are under no illusions about winning the Champions League and we certainly won’t be going bankrupt in a bid to win it. What does matter is maintaining a place in the group stages, season after season.

Every time we fail to make the Champions League group stage has a financial impact. Now, that doesn’t put the club in any financial trouble, but what it does impact on is the decision on what funds may or may not be available to use for strengthening the squad when and if required.

We have other income and a business plan for when European football hasn’t gone so well. The business plan does mean cutting our cloth accordingly though.

The other reason the group stages of the Champions League are so important is that the team needs to evolve. Over the last decade Celtic have had their ups and downs in Europe.

The club have been involved in the group stages of the Champions League and Europa League four times each in a ten year period. Whilst the latter tournament supposedly offers a better chance of progression, Celtic have not faired any better.

Without the same level of reward I think it is safe to say I’d take the Champions League every time. Celtic may not be able to beat the best teams in Europe very often or at all, but we won’t improve by avoiding them either.

Every time we’ve failed to qualify for the group stages it has had knock on effect. Being involved doesn’t necessarily guarantee enjoyment or success, especially when you are getting stuffed 5-0 at home by PSG or 7-0 by Barcelona.

We can’t avoid these teams though and we will only get better by keeping our name in the pot, reinvesting the income and learning from our mistakes each season. We have to build every year and keep a reasonable level of consistency, but if we aren’t involved, expect cutbacks.

By all accounts, there has only been one season in the last ten years that Celtic have not made the group stages in either European tournament. Neil Lennon’s first season as a manager was a tough one and lost out in the playoffs of the Europa League.

The next season he made the Europa League at the expense of FC Sion, despite the Swiss club beating Celtic. Their decision to play banned players allowed Celtic to take their place despite the results.

Neil enjoyed a memorable first time in the Champions League group stages of the Champions League in his third season when he finished in 2nd place. The season after was disappointing though when the club ended up in 4th place of the same competition.

Ronny Delia failed to make the Champions League on both attempts, but he did reach the Europa League in his two seasons in charge. Brendan Rodgers took Celtic back to the Champions League on his first attempt, but only managed 4th position.

The season that followed was slightly better with a 3rd place finish. Last season though the wheels came off when Celtic dropped into the Europa League during qualification.

There were several factors involved during that summer of discontent and hopefully the club have learned from it. If Celtic look back over the last decade and see where they have succeeded and failed it could prove useful.

UEFA continue to empower and reward the financially well off leagues. It is not an even playing field.

More and more clubs are beginning to be vocal about this, but change is a long way off. Right now the best thing Celtic can do is their best.

The last decade has shown that we haven’t always given it our best at times. Sometimes victory has been within our reach and other times simply impossible and because of that we must separate our mistakes from inevitability so that we can progress without beating ourselves up.

Ten years on from when Neil Lennon first took Celtic into Europe as a rookie full time manager, we prepare for another qualifier on today. I don’t underestimate Cluj as an opponent, but I am optimistic about progession to the next round.

Considering that I wasn’t totally behind Neil’s appointment on this occassion, I have been encouraged by what I’ve seen so far. He doesn’t have all the players he desires right now, but as we’ve learned over the years in Europe, occasionally we make signings as we move through each round.

We don’t need too many more players if I’m being honest. We may even move some on as well.

On Thursday the English transfer window closes and with any luck, hopefully this Kieran Tierney saga as well. These headlines must have been very unsettling for the 22 year old.

The media have done everything possible to keep this story in the headlines to the point they’ll tell you a deal is imminent. Even if they do agree a fee, would KT want to even go?

I’m sure he’d enjoy the Premier League and a chance to boost his income. However, there’s no suggestion he’s even trying to engineer a move and there is no guarantee he wants to even go to Arsenal.

Kieran will have plenty of other options as the years go on. He will leave one day I’m certain, but in a year or two he may have other options including a better contract from Celtic.

Right now he is our player and on the road to recovery. Another issue which people don’t seem to mention.

Even if a deal was agreed, would he manage to pass a medical right now? Sorry, I’m using common sense.

Tonight it will all be about getting a decent result in Romania that allows Celtic to continue the hard work in Glasgow next week. I won’t see the game live as I’ll be somewhere over the Atlantic.

I’m hoping that by the time I can catch up with the recorded footage we are still in with a shout. We already know who we could face in the play offs for either competition now.

There’s only one competition we truly want to be involved in though. Keep the dream alive Bhoys.

Hail! Hail!

Stevie Mac

The adventure continues in Romania

Celtic and CFR Cluj will face one another in the third round of the Champions League qualifiers. The first leg will be in Romania on Wednesday of next week.

Going into last night’s game, Cluj were 1-0 up from the first leg and travelled to Tel-Aviv with that narrowest of leads. Unlike Celtic whose away tie in Tallinn was a formality.

Both approaches would have been different with the game in Tel-Aviv in the balance and the match in Tallinn more like a friendly. Whilst Celtic were easing their way to a 0-2 away win to make it 7-0 on aggregate, Maccabi Tel-Aviv struck first to bring their tie even on aggregate.

It was short lived though when Cluj pulled level on the night from the penalty spot just four minutes later. Once again it was advantage Cluj and now they had an away goal into the bargain.

Just before half-time, Cluj scored again to make it 1-2 (2-2 on aggregate). By this point it was looking grim for Tel-Aviv and positive for Cluj.

In the second half Tel-Aviv came out with intent and scored three minutes after the restart. All of a sudden things were looking up again, but the Israelis failed to find the net again and Cluj won 2-3 on aggregate.

So now Maccabi Tel-Aviv parachute into the Europa League where they will face Celtic’s old opponents FK Sūduva in the third qualifying round. Cluj will prepare to host the Scottish Champions in Romania.

Neil Lennon and Celtic will have the utmost respect for Cluj. Back in July 2013 they played Cluj in a pre-season friendly in Austria during their summer training camp.

Cluj won that match 2-1 and couple of their players from that match have since returned to the club. Ciprian Deac is now in his third period at the Romanian Champions whilst Damjan Djoković is now in his second stint after spells in Italy, France and Germany.

Perhaps one of their most influential players is their Portuguese captain, Camora. He has been at Cluj for over eight years now and pledged to finish his career at the club.

Manager Dan Petrescu is in his second spell has manager at Cluj after nine months coaching in China. He returned in time to clinch a second successful Romanian title.

For Lennon and Petrescu, they have much in common. They are both in their second terms at their respective clubs, have both played in England and have also represented their country at international level.

Whilst Petrescu’s managerial career started earlier than Lennon’s both managers have enjoyed relative success. Neil has won four league titles and three Scottish Cups with Celtic as well as second tier title with Hibs.

Petrescu is not without is own success either. He won the Liga 1 and Romanian Cup with Unirea Urziceni, the second tier title with Kuban Krasnodar in Russia, the Romanian Super Cup with ASA Targu Mures, Chinese FA Cup with Jiangsu Suning and two back-to-back Liga 1 titles with Cluj.

This will be a full bodied contest and most likely the toughest one Celtic will have faced this summer so far. FK Sarajevo and Nomme Kalju parked the bus and hit on the break over the four previous qualifiers.

I expect Cluj to impose themselves more than our previous opponents. On Saturday, St Johnstone come to Celtic Park as the domestic season gets under way.

Expect a tougher match from Tommy Wright’s team than any team Celtic have faced so far in Europe this summer. That may not be a bad thing as it will be a step up for us when facing Cluj.

It’s also worth noting that Cluj have already begun their domestic season. They’re only three games into that season, but in terms of preparation they have more competitive matches under their belt than Celtic.

With the group stages getting closer and our domestic season about to begin, things are beginning to get real for Celtic. We have a good squad and Neil Lennon has said he still aims to add more faces.

I’m actually pleased with the work that has been done so far. We haven’t seen the best of our team yet, but we are making steady progress.

Neil knows what lies ahead and he knows what is at stake. For the first time in a long time, I think we have the right attitude.

We will see how far we have come in the weeks ahead.

Hail! Hail!

Stevie Mac