Real Betis v Celtic: “We want to prove that we are worthy of this stage,” Josip Juranovic 

Celtic Likely Lad Josip Juranovic spoke to the Mainstream Media yesterday ahead of the club’s flight to Seville and the former Hadjuk Split full-back recounted a European experience he had at his former club when the odds appeared to be dramatically stacked against his side. “I played against Everton, we drew 1-1,” Juranovic said. “They scored from their half of the pitch. But the most important thing was we played like a team. Hadjuk is a really good club.

“Everton spent something like £150million on transfers this summer. And they only beat us because of that goal. That, for me, shows you that money is not everything. For me it is not about favourites. You just saw Manchester United lose against Young Boys, so you can see the favourites don’t always win.

“As a team we must play together if we want to reach our goal. If you play as an individual then you cannot reach the top level in football. If you play as a team you can beat a team who’ve spent a lot of money so for me the most important thing is that we play as a team,” Juranovic added. “We need to defend as a team and attack as a team. If we do that then we will have a good chance of being able to play our own football.

“We must make sure we manage to get possession of the ball, if we can get that possession them we can create chances and score goals. There will be times when we must defend as a team and every single player must give two hundred-per-cent to make sure we don’t concede any goals. If we do that then I believe we will have chances to score, I believe that one hundred-per-cent.”

Josip Juranovic Photo: Jeff Holmes

With Greg Taylor ruled out this evening and for the foreseeable future with that injured shoulder that now requires surgery, Juranovic could be playing this evening at right-back, or perhaps more likely as the replacement for Taylor at left back. However Ange Postecoglou might fancy a stronger defensive unit down the left in Adam Montgomery and may even look to play Juranovic on the further forward on the right hand side with Anthony Ralston behind him. Needs must and all that.

“I’m a right full-back but I can also play on the left,” the Likely Lad said. “In the two games I’ve played so far I have given myself to the team and the coach. Now it’s all down to me to shown my quality on the training pitch.

Josip Juranovic. Photo Jeff Holmes

“I like to play in the big games as it’s in the big games where you must show your quality. You need to show you are calm with the ball and that you have the right attitude. Everyone at Celtic likes to play at Champions League and Europa League level and these are the big stages where the players want to show themselves.

“We want to prove that we are worthy of this stage,” Josip Juranovic

Celtic v AZ Alkmaar – Callum McGregor right shakes hands with AZ Alkmaar s Thijs Oosting. Photo Andrew Milligan

The loss of Callum McGregor will come as a shock to the new arrivals at the club and it is going to be a real challenge for the team coping without their captain in such a huge game against high quality opponents. “I think Callum is a great person, a great player, a great captain but here we have players who can replace him because this is Celtic, we’re a big club and we have lots of big players. If we change captain, whoever becomes captain will give everything for the team and themselves to show them in a good way.”

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

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