“We’ll have a go at Real Madrid,” promises Cameron Carter Vickers

Celtic’s stand-in skipper Cameron Carter-Vickers had a chat with Lubo98 of this parish after the 1-1 draw against Shakhtar Donetsk on Tuesday evening at Celtic Park, a result that ended Celtic’s hopes of progressing to the Europa League knock-out rounds. The Celtic Star was involved in the post match media representing the Celtic Fan media.

Asked about taking the armband in the absence of Callum McGregor, CCV said: “I’ve enjoyed it, it has been an honour for me. I’ve just tried to do the best job that I can, be the player that I am and do the best that I can.”

On returning to domestic football at the weekend after battling back to get that 4-3 win away at Hearts so there’s real momentum coming into the game at Livingston on Sunday to get back to winning ways: “Yes, we have a fairly good group, I think so we don’t get to high after a win or too low after a bad result, so we’ll be ready for Sunday,” CCV replied.

(Photo by ANDY BUCHANAN/AFP via Getty Images)

Asked by young Lubo about the UCL experience for the squad whetting appetites to go on and win the league this season so that the team can return to play in the Champions League again next season.

“Yeah. regardless of whether we had Champions League this year or not we’d be aiming to win the domestic league this year so nothing much as changed there. It definitely gives us a taste of what this level is like and all the Bhoys want to return to it.

“One hundred per cent we want to get back to the Champions League. Even when we’ve been playing in the competition we’ve also been taking the domestic games one hundred percent seriously. We go out to win them all.

Photo: Andrew Milligan

“It has made us want more of it. Definitely. The results haven’t been great but we’ve still shown we can compete at this level.”

On whether the team can grow as a result of their first experience as a group of the challenges that the Champions League brings. “I would 100-per-cent agree. Results haven’t been good, we know we’re not there yet. But I definitely think within the group we feel we can get there eventually.

“For a large part of our group this has been a new experience, playing in the Champions League. It was always going to take a bit of time to adjust. But, I think we’ve all grown in belief and become better players for the experience.

“I think we’ve done well without getting the results we all wanted. We’ve still got another game to go and that will be another fantastic experience. But like I say, we also want to get a result.

“I feel good. It’s been challenging, but at the same time it’s been good to match up with some of the best teams, some of the best players in the world and I’ve enjoyed it.

Photo: Andrew Milligan

“We played well again for large parts of the game, just like the other matches. But at this level it’s tough,” Cameron Carter Vickers said.

On Tuesday night’s game the Celtic captain for the night reckoned the performances was better than the result, yet again. “I felt we started fairly well. We controlled large part of the first half. They had one chance towards the end of the half but apart from that not too much. But like the other games we just came up short.

“I think they’ve all been fairly similar performances. We’ve attacked every game the same way, tried to play our style. I wouldn’t say against Shakhtar it was a notch down from how we’ve been performing. I think it was on a similar level.

“I think it’s just Champions League football. You’re not going to control or dominate a game for the full 90 minutes. There will be periods when they have the ball and you’re trying to maintain your shape and defending. To be fair, I felt we did that quite well. Their goal came from a counter attack.”

The difference between two wins in the double header against Shakhtar instead of two draws was the contribution made by Mykhaylo Mudryk who equalised against Celtic in both matches that each ended in 1-1 draws. And Carter Vickers was clearly impressed by the young Ukrainian who is bound to get a big move, perhaps to Arsenal or Everton in the January transfer window.

Asked whether Mudryk was among the best attackers he has faced CCV said: “I would say so. He’s very direct, very quick. He’s now scored two goals against us in two games, so you can see he’s also a very good finisher.

“He’s a top, top player with unbelievable pace. He’s a big threat. Listen, we of course knew that before the game. But obviously it’s still hard to deal with someone of that kind of pace.”

While Celtic are out of Europe there’s still the matter of the trip to Madrid next Wednesday where the Bhoys will once again be backed by a huge travelling support, including Matt Corr of this parish, and maybe Liam Kelly too. Matt has waited forty years to get our revenge in the Santiago Bernabéu so is only a medium term grudge holder, you need to take to David Potter sometime!

Even though we are playing the current Champions of Europe on their own patch the Celtic approach will remain the same, we will go out to play our football and to attack the Spanish giants.

“Of course we will,” CCV confirmed. “Every game you want to win, no matter if there’s something on it or not. It will be great for us to go to the Bernabeu, one of the most iconic stadiums in the world, and play there. We’ll want to win the game.

“We’ve attacked all the games in the group so far and we’ll look to do the same in the Bernabeu. We’ll have a go at Real Madrid.”

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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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