Paul Lambert isn’t too concerned with Celtic’s two pre-season home defeats to Preston North End and West Ham United and reckons that Ange Postecoglou’s side has ever reason to believe that they can prevail in Denmark tomorrow night. The former Celtic captain reckons that results are less important in pre-season matches than currently being attributed to Celtic’s two defeats, especially the worrying hammering at the weekend against David Moyes’ side.
The defensive shambles on Saturday including another awful goalkeeping performance from Vasilis Barkas, who of course allowed Mydtjylland back into the game last Wednesday when he misjudged a free kick allowing the ball to sail into the Celtic net.
“I learned a very long time ago that you can’t read too much into results in these friendlies, even if you have shipped six goals at home,” the former Celtic captain said, as reported by Glasgow Times. “These games are just fitness exercises and about helping to try new formations: the results don’t really matter.
“When I went on trial with Borussia Dortmund in 1986 we were turned over in our first couple of bounce games – including a derby match against Schalke – but we ended the season beating Juventus in the Champions League final.
“I also remember that when Martin O’Neill came to Celtic in 2000 he took us to Germany and we lost 2-0 to Leipzig, who were just a little regional club at that time and not the RB Leipzig of today. They absolutely pumped us that night but we went on to win the treble. I’ve also had pre-seasons when we looked good and beat everyone but ended up without a trophy so there’s no need to panic just yet.”
“They’ve lost a couple of games and it doesn’t help that (the)Rangers beat Real Madrid (reserves) 2-1 on Sunday – although, when you look through that Madrid team, there were hardly any names you would recognise in it – because it looks as though Celtic are struggling while (the)Rangers are cruising,” Lambert stated.
“But beating Midtjylland would change everything for Ange. For a start, it would mean that that 6-2 defeat on Saturday would be immediately forgotten and it would give him, the youngsters in the team and the new arrivals a huge shot of confidence. It wouldn’t get any easier after that, of course, because they’re almost certain to play PSV Eindhoven in the third qualifying round after their 5-1 win over Galatasaray last week but people would cut you more slack if you went out to PSV than if Mydtjylland beat you.
“In any case, I watched the first leg and thought that Celtic were the better team. They looked good middle-to-front and it’s well within their capabilities to get a result on Wednesday night. Yes, they lost a bad goal in the first leg helps them because away goals no longer count double.
“Unfortunately, their good performance was forgotten about in the wake of that West Ham defeat but I can’t say often enough that the only results that matter are in the competitive games and the new manager will benefit massively from a win against the Danes, especially with a tough Premiership opener at Hearts on Saturday night and (the)Rangers at Ibrox just a month away.
“I like how Postecoglou comes across. There’s no kidology from him: he shoots from the hip and says what he thinks and players respect managers who are straight with them.”