CAMERON CARTER-VICKERS insists Celtic will go out all guns blazing in the Bernabeu on Wednesday.
The Hoops blew their last chance of remaining in Europe after the turn of the year when they could only draw 1-1 with Shakhtar Donetsk in their final Champions League encounter in front of their own fans.
The stalemate against the Ukrainians left Ange Postecoglou’s side with a mere two points from a possible 15 to obliterate any lingering hopes of a consolation place in the Europa League.
SO NEAR AND YET SO FAR…Ange Postecoglou rues a missed chance against Shakhtar Donetsk.
A 3-0 loss to Real Madrid in the opening fixture at the start of last month, followed by a 1-1 draw with Shakhtar in Warsaw and back-to-back defeats from RB Leipzig, 1-3 and 0-2, left them with a must-win situation on Tuesday under the lights in the east end of Glasgow.
Giorgos Giakoumakis fired the Hoops into a first-half lead, but, unfortunately, they were undone by the sheer pace and shooting power of wonder boy Mykhalo Murdryk who hammered in the equaliser that condemned the hosts to European oblivion.
Postecoglou’s men, though, have no intention of making their exit from the elite competition with a whimper in the Spanish capital next midweek.
Stand-in skipper Carter-Vickers warned: “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.
THAT’S OUR BHOY…goalscorer Giorgos Giakoumakis is congratulated by Matt O’Riley and Sead Haksabanovic.
“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.”
The title winners returned to the most prestigious club competition after an absence of five years and failed to bridge the gap in just a couple of months, but the rugged central defender, who signed a permanent £6million deal from Spurs in the summer, believes there is still reason for optimism.
The World Cup-bound US international said: “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.”
Reflecting on the deadlock with the Ukrainians, Carter-Vickers, speaking to the Daily Record, continued: “We played well again for large parts of the game, just like the other matches. But at this level it’s tough.
EURO STAR…Cameron Carter-Vickers leads out Joe Hart with the rest of the team to follow for a Champions League outing at Parkhead.
“I felt we started fairly well. We controlled a 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 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.”
As Celtic prepare to bring down the curtain on European football for another campaign, Carter-Vickers insisted they want to return to Europe’s top table as swiftly as possible.
He added: “One hundred per cent we want to get back to the Champions League.
“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.
“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.”