Celtic v AEK Athens: ‘Let’s make Celtic Park a fortress,’ Broony

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CELTIC captain Scott Brown has been speaking to the media ahead of tomorrow’s vital Champions League qualifier against AEK Athens at Celtic Park.

The Greek Champions arrived in Glasgow earlier today before making their way to their hotel north of the city. Tomorrow night will be their first competitive match of the season and this is surely a factor that Celtic can benefit from.

“The lads had a good training session,” Broony said.

“We watched a few clips of them so we know what we’re up against. It’s going to be a good game for us in front of a packed Celtic Park.

“They’ve got a lot more pace about them as well. They’re a counter-attacking team who play a 4-4-2. Their strikers are very lively but, at the end of the day, we have a lot of quality as well so we have to look at our qualities and how we’re going to play and how we’re going to shape up.

“We know we can score home or away from home. We put a lot of faith in our strikers, attacking players and our bench players. We’ve got goals no matter where we are, whether it’s home or away.

“Champions League nights are special occasions. Whether it’s the qualifier or if you get into the groups. We want to make it as special as possible and make Celtic Park a fortress as we have done over the last couple of years.”

Celtic haven’t always travelled well in the Champions League – either in Qualifiers or the Group Stages – and Brendan Rodgers has already indicated that the plan is to put the tie to bed on Wednesday by building up a healthy lead.

The return game in Athens next Tuesday evening will be played in intense heat – rather like what Celtic experienced in Armenia with temperatures well into the 30s.

“Going over there in the heat is always hard,” Broony said.

“We’ve done it before, we’ve played in 35 degrees before but it’s about what we can do here first and hopefully we get a good result at home first.

“It’s always hard going away but we’ve managed to get results away from home as well. Here’s hoping we can get a good result at home.

“It gets harder every year. The nerves build up before the game but as soon as you stand on that pitch the nerves go and you’ve got to relax and put faith in your team-mates and try to control the game.”

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