Astana coach: there are defeats in football too


“I’m so tired of being alone,
I’m so tired of on my own,
Won’t you help me, girl,
Just as soon as you can”

Al Green’s lament is written for those tired and distant from homely comforts  If you and I do our job tonight, the Astana players who take the field will know what it feels like to compete in what is the wee small hours of their internal body clock.  They will be tired, and the crisp Glasgow night will feel nothing like their central Asia base.  Home advantage is worth nothing if you don’t make the most of it.

Astana’s Bulgarian manager, Stanimir Stoilov, promised his players are ready for tonight’s game at Celtic Park.:

“Discipline will be key. When we were here last year feelings were running high and we could maintain composure. We just have to remember two games will decide who gets to the group stages of the Champions League. We need to keep our nerve for both games.

“I have no words that can describe what it would mean for Kazakhstani football for us to reach the group stage. I am pretty sure the players know what it will mean for them, they are focussed on success.

“Celtic have risen up in recent years under Brendan Rodgers. He has done a good job and Celtic are stronger.

“We need to score [tonight]. If we don’t, get a goal, the game in Astana will be tough. We must try to be ourselves and play our football, no surprises.

“Any team which doesn’t lose in eight months deserves huge respect. We will be very happy if we win. On the other hand, there are defeats in football too, but we will see what happens.”

One interesting fact emerged from his Celtic Park media conference yesterday: the Astana board publicly set a target for their team to reach either the Champions League or Europa League group stages this season. This was achieved with the win over Legia Warsaw in the last round.

Given a choice, I’d prefer to play a team who’ve hit their targets, than one whose very essence replies on them beating you.

Let’s get stuck into them, Celtic.

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  1. The Green Man says SACK THE Board on

    Lets go medieval on Astana:)


    Go for the jugular, power and pace.


    Cmon Bhoys.





  2. The Green Man says SACK THE Board on




    You were like a man possessed there, had to step in. Its for your own good:)





  3. Nerves kicking in… I do think we are a better team than this time last year but still feeling very very nervous

  4. BIG JIMMY on 16TH AUGUST 2017 12:00 PM





    happy 77th to TOHG





    still an unrepentant Fenian











    Will the BV staff allow us to belt oot Happy Birthday for your Da ?




    Ive not been oot since Friday, So I wont be rough when we meet up BT. See you in 3/4 hours.




  5. 10 comments of drivel.



    Hope we remain controlled and squeeze out an advantage of about 4 :-)

  6. Marrakesh Express on





    Torrential in Berlin too, like Castlemilk.



    The Olympic stadium, old fashioned but still magnificent. Opened 81 years ago and puts the sfa dump Hampden to shame. First class design stadium and surroundings.



    Kilkenny Irish bar for the game thankfully after a few others couldn’t show it..hh

  7. The Green Man says SACK THE Board on




    Yes, we shake them up, go at them.


    They will still be a bit off, no matter what.


    We must take advantage.


    And…..Al Green as well:)


    Now there is a man who could sing a song.




  8. Okay Bhoys you had yer opportchancity here is the answers about Yootha Joyce RIP.



    “Mildreds” Maiden name before marrying George was ” TREMBLE”…if memory serves me correctly ?



    The actress Yootha Joyce ( Midred” was once married to actor Glynn Edwards……..famous for his role as majority owner of The Winchester Club in “Minder”…….Dave Harris.


    He was in several movies including the original ZULU.



  9. Stuart Armstrong.


    I keep thinking his advisers were waiting on Sigurdsson leaving Swansea for Everton freeing up a big wages move for Stuart. Telling him he’ll be the main man there.


    Telling him Paul Clement is a young forward thinking coach who will get him to the big time in England, awash with riches and oh, we’ll make a few quid on commission too.


    I’m basing it on nothing but what is spinning around my mind so more than likely, speculative nonsense!! :-)

  10. The Green Man says SACK THE Board on

    Marrakesh Express



    Berlin fascinates me.


    The complete history of the 20th century, in one city.




    Could talk all day about this theme, but i will spare you:)




  11. Gordon


    Lustig Ajer Simunovic Tierney


    Ntcham Brown McGregor


    Forrest Griffiths Sinclair



    3-1 Griffiths double and Sincalir

  12. It was the same time for Astana last year and they only lost 2-1 to a late penalty, and it was only an hour earlier for them in Warsaw when they only lost 1 nil. Given the money they have, I’m quite sure they will have invested in a sports science team, and have spent the last few days preparing for the kick off time. An advantage maybe, but a significant one I’m not so sure. An early goal can change things but I suspect it will be another tight game. If I was betting I’d go Griffiths 1 nil.

  13. I had a meeting with Neil Doncaster and McKenzie.



    Postby Joe O’Rourke » Wed Aug 16, 2017 11:47 am



    I and Association President John Andrews met with Neil Doncaster and Rod McKenzie on Monday night. The reason for the meeting which incidentally was at the request of Mr Doncaster, was for them to explain their position with regards to the Lord Nimmo Smith (LNS) Inquiry.



    From the outset they both made it clear that they thought that the SPL did everything by the book and that they had no further part to play in accordance with the advice they got from a Senior Counsel.



    They also stated that they, the SPFL, were happy to have an Independent Review of Scottish Football as stated about three weeks ago after they elected their new Board. The problem with that is, no Independent Review is worth having unless it also agreed by the SFA, and so far Mr Regan and his cronies have not agreed to a Review.



    Mr Doncaster made it very clear that the decision taken by LNS cannot be revisited, the decision to fine Sevco £250,000 is final. Mr McKenzie stressed that all the information held by the SPL was put before LNS, which included the proof of about 51 side letters. But what they cannot answer is, did the SFA act honestly with regards to LNS.



    Mr Doncaster also agreed with us that the Five Way Agreement (FWA) was a barrier to Title stripping. That is the FWA that no-one outside if the signatories has actually seen. McKenzie and Doncaster actually admitted that in one of the early drafts of the agreement Title Stripping was one of the avenues that could be used as punishment to Sevco, not surprisingly Green, and apparently more so McCoist strongly opposed that route, so that clause was taken out.



    That’s akin to a High Court Judge telling a convicted criminal that he could face twenty years in jail and the criminal saying I’m not having that. So the Judge says, well ok what about a fine of £250? That will be fine (excuse the pun) your honour.



    You have to wonder, if the FWA was good for Scottish Football as a whole, why has it not been made public? According to McKenzie the five signatories would have to agree to that, and he said that wouldn’t happen, but he never told us just exactly who would be opposed to going public, I think they would all oppose it to protect themselves.



    Interestingly the SPFL Board backed the call for an Independent Review as proposed by Peter Lawwell at Celtic Football Club, but not one club came out publically and supported Peter Lawwell before the Board went public, which was about three weeks after Peter’s statement.



    McKenzie said that club chairmen were backing Celtic, but not in public. I think that proves the point the Bullying and Intimidation by the Sevco Support is actually working, I also think the comments from Ann Budge and Stewart Milne prove that too.



    So where do we go from here? Well we’re not beaten yet. We have to force the SFA to back the Independent Review. The only way that can be done is by supporters putting pressure on their own clubs to call for it.



    Doncaster claims that the SPFL do not have the power within their rules to strip titles, but the SFA do have that power. So honest supporters throughout the whole of Scottish Football must stand up to the Bullies and Intimidators and force action from your own club’s. This is not a Celtic v Rangers issue, this is Honest and Integrity v Bullies and Intimidators issue. Football has to win, but it can only win if the honest decent supporters unite to make it happen.

  14. BBC National News has just shown a clip of Brendans latest interview @ 12.15 today….feckin amazing.



    Brendan said, ” You can’t allow yourself to worry about the consequences of this tie, or you will lose sleep, you have to stay FOCUSED”…..or words to that effect ?


    Sorries, I have a short memory span sometimes….or is it all the time ?….I can’t remember.



    Is it 11/11 yet ?



  15. !!Bada Bing!! on 16th August 2017 12:19 pm


    JB71- Burnley interested in SA



    Dyche wanted to sign him in the window he came to us. He said he would only be a squad player for them back then.

  16. G67- he has improved since :) if Ajer was to play tonight i think he would have started v Thistle, i think Bitton will start….

  17. Brendan



    “I said right at the beginning that qualification for the Champions League was primarily going to be done with the players that got us there,” he said.



    “These are players that are developing, that are improving, that have a total understanding of how we work.



    “Patrick’s situation is pretty clear, he’s out with Manchester City at the moment. We have a number of targets we’re looking at but there is nothing to report on any specific player.”

  18. !!Bada Bing!! on 16th August 2017 12:27 pm



    I think Bitton will start, I just hope he doesn’t. Too casual, too slow.


    I like Ajer and think he could be a big player for us in the coming years (likewise Ralston). If not Ajer at CH then I would play Lustig beside Jozo and Ralston at right back.

  19. traditionalist88 on

    Shoot on sight tonight. And none of this predictable to the wing, back inside, out to the other wing. If Sinclair or Forrest are struggling to beat their men just whip a ball in, low or high, and see what happens. Or play back to full back to do likewise. Griff will be waiting to connect and for any scraps.











    Whit,ye miss a podium?



    Anyway,good luck to Celtic tonight. Fans,players,management,board. A great result will make life easier and happier for all.



    I’m sticking to my plan from last year-which worked liked something from The A-Team



    No predictions at all whether that be team selection or score.



    It’s why I don’t put Celtic on my fixed odds. Sore lesson,learned the hard way.




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