CRAIG GORDON is in a positive frame of mind as Celtic prepare for their first European hurdle a week today.
The goalkeeper, who completed a dramatic comeback last season with medals in the Premiership and League Cup as well as a Scotland call-up, is backing the Hoops to deliver.
Iceland champions Stjarnan are the first obstacle as they provide the opposition for the opening Champions League qualifier at Parkhead.
And Gordon reckons the game against Davie Moyes’ Real Sociedad on Friday will be the perfect test to boost fitness levels after the 5-3 defeat against Dukla Prague.
The 32-year-old shotstopper played the first 45 minutes at St Mirren Park with the friendly deadlocked at 2-2.
However, deputy Leo Fasan conceded three after the interval with the Czechs’ superior match fitness clearly showing.
Gordon said: “We struggled a little bit and we were disappointed to lose that many goals. You could tell they had played four or five matches already.
“There was a bit of rustiness there and the things we were doing well towards the end of last season weren’t quite there – they were a bit quicker and sharper than we were.
“They were ahead of us in terms of fitness and sharpness and you could tell that.
“For a lot of our guys it was our first match and we were a bit off the pace compared to them, so over the next week or two we will sort that out.
“I had to be sharp off my line in the first-half and I came and took a good cross. These are the sorts of things I’m looking to get from these games, reading these situations.
“When I get these things right everything will fall into place.
“The manager will study this and come back with a few points for us and where we went wrong.
“It’s early days. We will have another few days’ training under our belts before the Sociedad game and we will get a lot better.”