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JOHANSEN TARGETS VICTORY IN EUROPE

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STEFAN JOHANSEN believes Celtic can make an impact in the Champions League next season.
And the SPFA Player of the Year insists he has more to offer at the highest level in Europe.
The 24-year-old Norwegian midfielder said: “I definitely think we can qualify for the group stages of the competition.
“I already know how difficult that is. It is the biggest challenge of our season.

“But I think we will be prepared for it this summer. It is different because the manager has had the chance to properly get to know the players.

“Over the past six months we feel as though we have improved a lot and the performances have got better.

“We were unlucky against Inter Milan in the knock-out stages of the Europa League, but I think we learned a lot of lessons in those games.

“As a kid, I grew up watching the Champions League on television. It is where every player will say that they want to play football.

“It is the biggest test you can have as a player with your club. But it is not just me who wants to play in the Champions League – it is the ambition we all have because it is such a big test.

“It is a chance to play against the very best and that is where you want to be. It is great for everyone – the players, the manager, the club and the fans.”

Johansen also believes the role Ronny Deila handed him at the start of the season was a huge factor in allowing him to stand out throughout the campaign.

He added: “The manager told me that he wanted me to play a little differently, that I should always be thinking about being on the attack.

“He is the type of manager who gives you freedom on the ball.

“I knew him well, obviously, from my time in Norway and I had no doubts that he would come here and be a success.

“At the start of the season, when things were difficult, I knew he would turn it around if he was given a few months because I know what he is capable of.

“He is so passionate about football and the way he wants us to play.

“The manager lets you be unafraid with the ball. He wants you to be the best you can be and although he drives you very hard he also allows you to make a mistake, as long as you are prepared to learn from it.

“He is a great coach and I am delighted for him that he has had some success at Celtic.

“But he wants us to keep better and the place to do that is the Champions League. That is the next target.”

 
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