OLIVIER NTCHAM believes Celtic will catch Zenit St Petersburg on the back-foot tomorrow night – by attacking them in Russia.
The French Under-21 midfielder insists the Hoops will be positive as they take a one-goal lead to Russia for an intriguing second leg.
Ntcham, bought from Manchester City for £4.5million in the summer, is also backing his fellow-compatriot Moussa Dembele to be a key man for the Hoops.
He said: “It is up to the manager how we play, that’s always the way. But if I was the coach, I’d say we should play as we always do – try to score goals.
“We don’t just have to try and defend for the whole second leg waiting until the game is finished.
“It is best to play our own way, like we are used to doing.
”I hope Moussa can score in Russia. He was holding the ball up for us a lot in the first leg.
“When you are a defender, it must be difficult to play against a big, strong striker like him. He is a great player, but it is not just down to him.
“We all must try to do things, but he can always score, we know that.”
Brendan Rodgers’ tactics in Glasgow worked splendidly and Ntcham said: “We enjoyed the first leg because we played well. Defensively, we were good and got the goal which was needed. The coach set us up well.
“Of course, they have now played a competitive game after their winter break and, when you play more games, you become more confident.”
The powerful middle-of-the-park operator missed the goalless home draw against St Johnstone on Sunday through illness, but, following an outstanding performance against Roberto Mancini’s side last week, is determined to keep up the good work tomorrow.
He added: “We have many young players, but there is maturity when we are on the pitch.
“The manager said there is growth in the team and I think that is true. If we get through, it would be a big achievement for the manager, the club and the players.
“We know it will be tough, but to get through is our aim and that is what we will fight for.”