“It’s still a great chance,” Matt O’Riley’s confidence is high for Champions League turn-around

Matt O’Riley looked back on Celtic’s 3-1 defeat to RB Leipzig and revealed what Celtic have to improve on in order to secure better outcomes in the Champions League.

Celtic’s return to the Champions League group stages after a five-year absence has resulted in a few harsh lessons, the main one being that Celtic must be ruthless, as the Celtic midfielder explains.

Celtic have also struggled with the number of injuries, most recently to the Celtic skipper Callum McGregor, who is awaiting his scans to come back to give an accurate timeline of when he will be reintroduced into the Celtic line-up. Both Carl Starfelt and Cameron Carter-Vickers were also absent from the Celtic side in midweek due to injury.

 (Photo by Martin Rose/Getty Images)

Ange Postecoglou was unhappy with the Celtic performance as he claimed that Celtic adopted ‘negative’ passing response, whilst he has been trying to enforce a positive mindset for the team. O’Riley gave his viewpoint on the points that the Celtic gaffer made after the defeat in Leipzig. As reported by the Daily Record, O’Riley said:

“I understand what you’re saying. Maybe we played backwards at times when we should’ve played forwards. Especially when it was 1-1 and we had a bit of momentum. There were times when we probably could’ve gone for the kill and we didn’t.

“We probably just have to learn. If you look at quite a lot of our team, there are still a lot of young players out there who haven’t had that much experience in terms of managing games. So it’s probably that. Again, there’s a lot to learn, but we’ve to learn quickly because there’s only three games left.”

 (Photo by Martin Rose/Getty Images)

Celtic are currently sitting at the bottom of Group F due to their lack of ruthlessness. Their failure to punish opponents is becoming costly for the Celtic side, as O’Riley insists  “it needs to change”.

“We know what we need to do to win the games. That’s the main thing. And now we just need to do it. We’re disappointed. I think we had some good chances, especially in the first half and we’ve realised now that if we don’t take those chances we’re going to get punished at this level. It was similar against Real Madrid and Shakhtar, we had chances in certain periods of the game. It was the same against Leipzig. To be honest, that was the difference. It just comes down to being more ruthless.”

 (Photo by Martin Rose/Getty Images)

Even though the opening half of Celtic’s Champions League campaign has left the Hoops frustrated and underwhelmed, Celtic will hope to win both of their next home matches against RB Leipzig and Shakhtar Donetsk and resolve the situation. O’Riley says that the Celtic squad still believe they can prevail.

“There is the confidence. We just need to win our next two home games and see where it puts us. We’ll go from there, really. It’s still a great chance.”

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