Celtic captain Callum McGregor believes his side can take points from away games against Atletico Madrid and Lazio – after showing they can match Europe’s best.
The Scottish champions earned their first group stage point with a 2-2 draw against Atletico at Celtic Park on Wednesday night but face a tough task to progress in Europe with only three games left to play and two of them away from home.
Celtic will need to take points on the road before their final match at home against Feyenoord but after impressing in their most recent game, McGregor insists there’s cause for optimism.
The hosts took the lead against their La Liga opposition twice, and came away disappointed not to have found a third goal to win the game.
“I thought first half especially we were really, really good,” he said. “A top quality performance from us, two really good goals, high energy and everything we spoke about.
“Second half they score a really good goal. High level. That’s the level we’re at where there’s a brilliant cross and brilliant finish.
“We do well to get back into the game and we’re maybe unlucky not to win it at the end but for sure we deserved a point.
“We spoke about after the first two games, you know, we created a lot of good chances, should have more points than what we do.”
The home side’s calmness in possession and clever passing pleased McGregor and he thinks they can have confidence to play the same way in difficult away venues, and reap the rewards.
“It’s good that we’re off the mark now in the group and to play against a top team like that and you know plays as well as we did for 60 minutes was as good as we have been”, he said.
“So that gives us the belief that you can play this way where you can dominate the ball and against top, top teams which have been in the latter stages of competition for probably ten years.
“That’s the challenge for us now. We’ve got one point on the board, we obviously need more to get out of the group.
“But that should give us the belief that if you look after the ball, and you play with each other and you play together as an 11, then you know, there’s no reason why you can’t go there and get something out the game.
“I think if we want to qualify out the group, then the next two games are vital.”
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