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ASTANA, LESSONS FROM LEICESTER AND THAT CELTIC SUPPORT

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Celtic assistant manager Chris Davies spoke to the media ahead of Celtic’s friendly this weekend against English Champions Leicester City.

Before speaking about the challenge Celtic face from Leicester, Davies gave his view on Celtic’s third round opponents in the Champions League Qualifers.

Clearly relishing the prospect of Astana matches, Celtic’s assistant manager was also happy to reflect on his first experiences in European Competition against Lincoln Red Imps.

“We’re looking forward to it. Obviously they are a good team.

“We had a difficult first-leg against the Red Imps. We known we should have done better but always maintained it was half-time.” 

“We came back did the job,” Davies stated. 

“Astana are a good side. They were in the Champions League last season and we know the challenge we face.”

Davies isn’t interested in any hard luck stories. He said: “There will be no excuses for us. We know are a big team and have got a big job to do. Regardless of where it is, we are looking forward to it.” 

And Davies now understands the significance of the support in the home match against Astana.

“The fans were incredible last night. We were talking about that this morning. They were brilliant,” Davies admitted. 

“For Brendan and myself, it was the first time we had seen that atmosphere since coming here – it was amazing.

“We are really excited about that because we know they are going to be massive for us.

“Big credit to the fans for coming out, they put on a show for us and we played for them, it was a really good night.” 

On the Astana challenge the Assistant Manager said “We want to create a positive environment. Whatever obstacles come our way, we will just move past them.” 

That might mean adding quality to the squad which remains too big in numbers for the new management team. 

Shane Duffy, the Blackburn Rovers and Ireland centre half remains the most likely new arrival.

Davies said this on the transfer speculation: “We’re hopeful of doing something, most important is that it’s the right person.

“Have our targets and have identified the areas that will improve the team. We know what we want, it has got to be the right person and the right deal.

“We are working on those targets behind the scenes and hopefully we can get them done.” 

Moving onto the weekend game, Davies admitted “It’s the English champions versus Scottish champions, a team that produced a sporting miracle last season.

“We saw it the year before in the second half of the season, and credit has to go to Nigel Pearson.

“You could see they were starting to turn it around then, and then Claudio Ranieri came in and they went on to a different level.

“Leicester are a great example of a team that are organised, disciplined and can show their quality within the team structure,” the Celtic assistant stated.

“They were the top team last year in England, so a great measure for our players to go up against them and see how we fit.” 

 
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