RB Leipzig v Celtic: “It’s up to us to do the work and get the three points,” Moritz Jenz

German defender Moritz Jenz has made it all the way to a starting place in the Group stages of the Champions League for Celtic without really being a name that many football fans or pundits are familar with in his homeland. Ange Postecoglou was asked at last night’s Media Conference in Leipzig about Jenz, the big defender’s progress since arriving at Celtic and why the club decided to sign him in the first place given that he’s completely gone under the radar as far as German football is concerned.

Ange explained that much of his early development happened in England, at Fulham you will recall, alongside Matt O’Riley, and that’s where he came to Celtic’s attention. The Celtic manager admitted that Jenz has probably had more game-time than he’d probably have expected, given the injury problems surrounding Carl Starfelt so far this season but that Jenz has performed very well indeed.

Moritz Jenz himself has had a chat with Celtic TV, the central defender is looking to playing back home in Germany and maybe to make a bit of a name for himself on home soil. “It’s nice to be back in Germany because I haven’t been back here in a long time, so it’s nice to be in Leipzig because I have friends here and they’re going to come and see the game.

‘If I’m honest, it was good to draw any team in Europe, but at the end it was a German team, so it’s a nice little touch. For me, I’m also a bit curious about this because I’ve played a lot of my football abroad, so I’m a bit of an unknown in regards to Germany, so I’m curious to see what the reception will be.

“Every player wants to achieve and compete against the best of the best. It’s also nice to compete against my fellow Germans who play in the national team, to see what standard I am and where I can improve and where I can go to,” Jenz stated.

 Moritz Jenz of Celtic FC controls the ball during the UEFA Champions League group F match between Shakhtar Donetsk and Celtic FC at The Marshall Jozef Pilsudski’s Municipal Stadium of Legia Warsaw on September 14, 2022 in Warsaw, Poland. (Photo by Adam Nurkiewicz/Getty Images)

Maybe he’ll acquit himself admirably and can even make an impact at international level while working under Anger Postecoglou, as has happened with most of the other Celtic defenders, Starfelt, Carter-Vickers, Taylor, Juranovic and Ralston are all international players for the their countries and Stephen Welsh has until recently been with the Scotland Under 21s (he’s now ineligible due to age). If they can all do it why can’t Moritz Jenz?

For now that it’s the excitement of being involved – and starting – in the Champions League that occupying Jenz’s thoughts.  “So far it’s been a fantastic experience. The first game at home was incredible, even with the result, and then the second game in Warsaw was a very good game for us. We just need to continue playing brave and playing positive. So in this game, we go again like we did against Donetsk. We go full throttle and show what we’ve got.

“For me, it’s still a dream. It’s just amazing to play for this great club and then in the Champions League, and you just feel proud anywhere you go. When you play, you feel very proud, and also in Europe you don’t feel afraid if you play against the big teams, so I’m very happy and very proud to be part of this fantastic club,” Jenz added.

On RB Leipzig’s early season woes, Jenz reckons that is now behind this evening’s oppoents and he expects a tough challenge from a top quality opponent.  “We know they’ve had a strange little spell in the league but they won their last game and they’re a very good side in Germany and across Europe, they’ve had good results.

“It will be a difficult game. It will be very physical, lots of running and lots of offensive moments, so it will be a very attacking game. They are still a very good team and have some great individual players. We know how they play and everybody knows their name by now in Europe.

“Like I said, it will be a difficult game but any Champions League game will be difficult regardless of the opponent. We need to start from the first minute at 100 per cent and continue until the last minute of the game. So it’s up to us to do the work and get the three points back home.”


About Author

The Celtic Star founder and editor, who has edited numerous Celtic books over the past decade or so including several from Lisbon Lions, Willie Wallace, Tommy Gemmell and Jim Craig. Earliest Celtic memories include a win over East Fife at Celtic Park and the 4-1 League Cup loss to Partick Thistle as a 6 year old. Best game? Easy 4-2, 1979 when Ten Men Won the League. Email editor@thecelticstar.co.uk

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