VIRGIL VAN DIJK reckons Celtic have improved and are now capable of holding their own in the Champions League next season. Three points tomorrow lunchtime at Tannadice would see Celtic edge ever closer to securing their fourth successive title and the big Dutchman is in confident mood as he looks towards the challenges ahead. Here’s what he has had to say ahead of the seventh meeting between Celtic and Dundee United this season:
“Everyone wants to play at the highest level and the highest level if you are playing for Celtic is the Champions League.
“So we need to go though the qualifications first and that’s going to be tough like last summer. But if we’re ready for it and prepare well, there’s always a chance to go through and we’ll see what happens.
“Those games are the ones you want to play in as every player wants to show that they are capable of playing at that level. That’s a big challenge for everyone if we reach that level but first we need to win the title.
“We need to be champions again and we’ll be on our way but the next game is on Sunday and we need to focus on that.”
And according to the big Dutch defender Celtic are almost ready for the Champions League.
“I see it in the games, I see it in training. I know that if everybody is fit and everybody is 100 per cent then we have a very good team and a very good squad to compete with the good teams in the Champions League.”
But first Van Dijk recognises that Celtic have some important domestic business to attend to. Despite scoring two spectacular free kicks in the last two games, the player has been left more than a little frustrated at the diabolical refereeing decision at Hampden last weekend which cheated Celtic out of a possible Treble. But he’s now looking towards getting the league wrapped up as fast as possible and hopes that there will be no further honest mistakes in the run-in.
“There are a couple of tough games coming up and we still aren’t champions yet but we want to be as soon as possible to make it easy for ourselves to get a well-deserved break as well.
“It’s been a successful season for us although last Sunday was disappointing, but everybody knows we need to move on and get our energy and our frustration out in the coming games to be champions.”