Motherwell boss puts current Celtic side on par with Martin O’Neill’s 2003 European heroes

Newly appointed Motherwell boss Stuart Kettlewell insists that the current Celtic side has every right to be named amongst the great Scottish clubs who have reached European finals in recent times.

Kettlewell has done a fine job of steering Well away from relegation, with the Lanarkshire-based side currently sitting in eighth place – despite relegation being a genuine threat to their top-flight status no longer than a month ago. Of course, if they finish in the bottom six, the split will not see them play Celtic again this season, though that is no detriment to his work – more the poor showings that Fir Park saw under Stevie Hammell.

That hasn’t stopped the current boss waxing lyrical over Celtic, though. The current Hoops side have taken 91 points from a possible 96 in the league – a truly unprecedented run of results that could so easy have seen them take maximum points had they not slipped up to St Mirren earlier in the season and a paltry draw at Ibrox on January 2.

Ange Postecoglou celebrates with the Celtic support. Photo: Kenny Ramsay

And Kettlewell insists that this Celtic side are so good that they could easily afford to put their names amongst other sides such as the 2003 UEFA Cup final team – they just need the credentials to do so.

“I think this is one of the best sides the Scottish Premiership has seen for several years,” Kettlewell said, via Football Scotland.

“I’m a massive Scottish football fan, I have been my entire life, and I think you would pitch this team up there with many other excellent sides. We look at Celtic and Rangers sides that have got to European finals, and I would pitch this side right up there with those. It’s one thing to be a good side but it’s another to continually do that throughout 90 minutes, and the full course of a season and cup competitions as well.

“That then becomes a huge challenge for the teams that have to face Celtic. What my job is, is to make sure that our players respond to that and they’re well equipped to face it. Of course they’re favourites to win, I don’t think there’s any doubt on that. What I have to do is pay massive compliment to the work they do, the consistency levels that they have. I see a Celtic team that when they score one they want two, when they get two they want three.

“You look at the style of play, the application of players, you look at their mind-set to do what their manager asks, which I just think is first-class.

“In all those aspects, I think it proves and it shows over the course of two seasons since Ange Postecoglou has been in charge at Celtic that it’s such a difficult task.”

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