STEFAN JOHANSEN reckons Celtic have nothing to fear when Inter Milan come calling on Europa League duty later this month. Speaking with some confidence after Celtic’s impressive victory in the Scottish Cup at Dens Park the 24 year old Norwegian star had this to say:
‘Inter are a very good team but I believe we can beat them. If I didn’t think that, there would be something wrong with me.
`It’s small things which can decide those big games and we have to be ready.
Johansen reckons that Ronny Deila is now seeing the rewards for the vision he set for Celtic when he arrived in the summer from Stromsgodset:
‘I said when the gaffer first came here last summer that it would take time, but now we are getting better and better. We are creating more chances and we are playing more the way the gaffer wants us to play.
Better form in the league at the start of 2015 and the two recent Cup wins has this Celtic side brimming with confidence and they are in a much better position now rather than earlier in the season, to take on the challenges of European football. Johansen explains:
‘The Rangers* game last week was an important win for us but it’s not just this one game that has given us confidence.
‘We are taking the positives from each match and we need to keep it going because we have a lot of big games coming up, including Inter Milan.
‘I’m the guy who takes things one game at a time. We are still in every competition and we want to go as far as possible in Europe, but we know it will be tough.
‘We are close in the League Cup, we are leading in the league and we need to keep going with the form we are showing at the moment.
‘I speak for myself but I feel how close we are to doing something special this season. Things are good. We are through in both cup competitions and we have signed two good players. We also kept the players we had and it shows the gaffer means business.
Celtic’s quest for the domestic treble continues on Wednesday when Ronny Deila takes his confident Celtic side from the east to the West End to play the big Glasgow derby at Firhill. Stephan Johansen already has his eyes on the three points at stake as Celtic aim to put some points between themselves and an Aberdeen side that drew level on points, having played two games more, at the weekend with a comfortable home win ober Ross County.
‘Playing Partick Thistle on Wednesday night is our focus right now.’