CHRIS SUTTON is certain Celtic’s Europa League collapse against FC Copenhagen will HAUNT some Celtic players.
The former Hoops goal hero acknowledges his old team blew a great opportunity to advice to the last-16 of the competition.
The hard work had been done in the Danish capital the previous week with a 1-1 draw, but, after some extraordinary and inexplicable lapses in defence, they gifted a 3-1 victory to the visitors at Parkhead who scored with four of their five efforts on target over the two legs.
However, the one-time England international striker insists Neil Lennon’s men must focus on the forthcoming months and get their heads up.
Sutton, writing in his Daily Record column, said: “It was a hugely disappointing result and it will probably haunt players like Scott Brown for some time. But it doesn’t have to be catastrophic when it comes to the season overall.
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“Celtic have to take it as a wake-up call and a motivation to finish the job on the home front. They have a commanding lead in the Premiership and a massive Scottish Cup-tie ahead at St Johnstone tomorrow.
“There’s also Livingston to deal with on their plastic pitch in midweek. If Celtic can get make some kind of statement in these games, the European pain will ease. ”
“I don’t even think the Scottish Cup is ultimately a necessity. It would be incredible to win another treble, but it would be a bonus as the league is the be-all-and-end-all right now.
“We all know how the west of Scotland works. When one team is up, the other is suffering. Last week at one stage Celtic were cruising in Copenhagen and Steven Gerrard’s neck was on the block after going two down to Braga.”
Sutton added: “I have absolutely no doubt the Celtic squad won’t have slept on Thursday night and will still have that sick feeling in the bottom of their stomachs.
“Because when the dust settles on their Europa League exit they will be left with that horrible feeling of letting a huge opportunity slip from their grasp.
“However, a Premiership and League Cup double would be a successful season for Neil Lennon, add the Scottish Cup and it would be a tremendous campaign, regardless of Europe.”