PAUL LAMBERT has told the Celtic fans not to push the panic button just yet.
The former Hoops skipper also reckons his old club have a good chance of winning in Denmark tomorrow night to reach the next stage of the Champions League qualifiers.
Lambert dismissed the embarrassing 6-2 flop against West Ham in Glasgow at the weekend and insisted these pre-season results mean nothing when the real action gets underway.
The ex-Scotland international leader highlighted his first friendlies at Borussia Dortmund and the Parkhead men that produced disappointing results, but did not prevent both teams going on successful campaigns with the Bundesliga outfit winning the Champions League and Wim Jansen’s men lifting their first league title in a decade while adding the League Cup for good measure.
MIDFIELD MASTER…Paul Lambert shows his skills.
Lambert liked what he witnessed from Ange Postecoglou’s side in last week’s 1-1 first leg draw with FC Midtjylland in their Champions League second round qualifier and reckons a repeat of that form could see them get through the return encounter.
The much-travelled former manager said: “I learned a very long time ago that you can’t read too much into results in friendlies — even if you have shipped six goals at home.
“These games are just fitness exercises and about helping to try new formations — the results don’t really matter.
“When I went on trial with Borussia Dortmund in 1996 we were turned over in our first couple of bounce games, but we ended the season beating Juventus in the Champions League Final.”
It was Dutchman Jansen who brought the former Motherwell midfielder back to Scotland in 1997 and Lambert played a key role in the team’s return to title-winning status.
Jozef Venglos, John Barnes and Kenny Dalglish followed before Martin O’Neill took over in the summer of 2000.
UP IN THE ARMS…Martin O’Neill makes a point.
Lambert said: “I also remember Martin took us to Germany and we lost 2-0 to Sachsen Leipzig, who were just a little regional club.
“They pumped us that day, but we went on to win the treble.
“I’ve also had pre-seasons when we looked good and beat everyone, but ended up without a trophy. So, there’s no need to panic just yet.”
Lambert, who won four league titles at Celtic, insisted beating FC Midtjylland would be the perfect boost for Postecoglou and his players.
The one-time onfield leader, speaking to the Scottish Sun, added: “They’ve lost a couple of games and it doesn’t help that Rangers beat Real Madrid 2-1 on Sunday, because it looks as though Celtic are struggling while Rangers are cruising.
“But beating Midtjylland would change everything for Ange. For a start, that 6-2 result would immediately be forgotten.
“It would give him and the youngsters and the new arrivals a huge shot of confidence.
“It wouldn’t get any easier after that because they’re almost certain to play PSV Eindhoven in the third qualifying round, but people would cut you more slack if you went out to PSV.
“In any case, I watched the first leg and thought that Celtic were the better team. They looked good middle-to-front and it’s well within their capabilities to get a good result on Wednesday night.”