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‘WE CAN’T TAKE EURO WIN FOR GRANTED,’ ARMSTRONG

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STUART ARMSTRONG insists Celtic cannot take victory for granted against Lincoln Red Imps in the second leg of their Champions League qualifier at Parkhead on Wednesday.

The semi-professionals rocked Brendan Rodgers’ team with a 1-0 win in Gibraltar on Tuesday – a sensational result that reverberated around Europe.

The Hoops are favourites to turn it around in Glasgow and go on to face either Astana, of Kazakhstan, or Lithuania’s Zalgiris Vilnius in the third qualifying round, with that tie goalless from the first leg.

However, Armstrong is refusing to look any further forward than the return game against Lincoln.

Asked if it was difficult to ensure there would not be a sense of just having to turn up to go through, the 24-year-old midfielder answered: “Well, definitely not, as we’ve seen.

“We can’t just turn up and expect to win. We will have to fight for it and they will be fighting for it, too. There is always that pressure to win at Celtic and that is something that we are used to. They were a good side, they played some nice stuff.

“There is no doubt about it, we should have been a lot better and won the game, but that wasn’t the case, but credit to them, they had some nice parts of play.

“It is what it is and we lost and everyone is upset about it, but we are looking to train well this week, get some good preparation and go again on Wednesday.

“It was a tough one to take for us and the fans. We are looking forward to next week to make amends. We are confident and that is the way we will be going into the next game, thinking we can win.

“We’ll focus on each game as it comes and we’ve got a good friendly against Wolfsburg on Saturday and an important game on Wednesday.”

Armstrong, who performed well as a second-half substitute for Tom Rogic in Gibraltar, stressed Brendan Rodgers is still trying to formulate the way forward for the team.

He added: “We’ve talked about the game and, in training today, we were trying new things and everyone is feeling confident again so we’re looking for that approach again.

“It’s still early days and everyone is fighting for a place in the team. We are still very much on board with the new philosophies and how he wants to play.

“Wolfsburg are a very good side, probably the best side we will have faced so far, so the tempo will be high, it will be on a nice surface and I think it will be a good game.”

 
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