Winds3DJOHN COLLINS has admitted Celtic could live without the trip to Turkey for the Europa League tie with Fenerbahce tomorrow.
Ronny Deila’s side are already out of the tournament after just two draws in five games and will finish bottom of Group A even if they win in Istanbul.

Asked if it was a fixture they’d rather not have on their schedule, Collins said: “I think it’s a fair point.”

Tensions have heightened in Turkey after a Russian warplane was brought down last week and Celtic have urged travelling fans not to use the metro.

The club are running 10 supporters buses to and from the Sukru Saracoglu Stadium, but despite the increase in security, Collins says they have to put safety fears out of their mind.

He added: “We have to put all that behind us and just focus on the football side. It’s business for us, we have no choice, but we’ll go in professionally and be prepared for the game.

Winds3D“There are always ifs and buts, but the reality is we never got the results we needed and wanted.

“We can’t qualify, but we’ll still go there and want to play, put in a good performance and will try and get a good result.”
Collins also confirmed that although Celtic have been watching Aston Villa’s Czech Republic striker Libor Kozak, “there is nothing imminent’ with regards to the club making a move to sign the player.
Ronny Deila took a trip to look at the frontman in action as Aston Villa’s Under-21s beat Derby 2-1. The Hoops failed to land Kozak in the summer and Deila has yet to decide if he will try to make it second time lucky.
Assistant boss John Collins admitted: “Ronny went down and had a look at the game and, of course, Kozak scored a couple of goals.
“However, there’s nothing imminent. We’re looking to strengthen all over, to be honest.”

Meanwhile Collins has repeated Nir Bitton’s importance to the SPFL champions, insisting he values the player at more than £10million.

Celtic issued a statement earlier this week including a quote from Bitton’s agent Dudu Dahan, stating the Israel international would not be leaving the club this summer.

Winds3DAnd Collins believes the 24-year-old will continue to improve in Glasgow, adding: “Nir has just signed a five-year contract.

“He’s been a terrific player for us, he’s had a fantastic 12 months and, hopefully, he’s going to have many more for Celtic. He’s a terrific young boy to work with and I know he’s enjoying playing with Celtic.

“He’s a £10million PLUS player. Nir’s a He’s a very level headed young man, very focused and he knows his job is to train every day and play for Celtic.”

On another subject, the John Collins move away from Celtic to Monaco certainly upset Fergus McCann. This saga is covered in detail in CQN’s new book THE WINDS OF CHANGE which is out now. Order direct from CQN HERE or click on the image below.
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