Shakhtar boss on facing Celtic: 'We believe we can make another miracle'

Igor Jovicevic says it will be an experience and a pleasure to appear at Celtic Park.

Shakhtar Donetsk boss Igor Jovicevic on facing Celtic: ‘We believe we can make another miracle’ SNS Group

Shakhtar Donetsk head coach Igor Jovicevic has warned his players they will need to suffer against Celtic to achieve another “miracle”.

The Ukrainian side have defied the odds in the Champions League to give themselves a real chance of progressing to the last 16.

Shakhtar won 4-1 in Germany against RB Leipzig in their Group F opener and took points off a dominant Celtic and then Real Madrid in their two ‘home’ games in Warsaw so far.

Celtic sit bottom of the group with one point but Jovicevic feels his side will be up against it at Parkhead.

“I have analysed the Celtic games,” said the Croatian, who confirmed that former Celtic winger Marian Shved and midfielder Yehor Nazaryna had not travelled to Scotland because of injury.

“They are high tempo at the start. Especially at home, the energy of the fans pushes them on.

“They must win so we have accounted for this factor. It will be an experience and it will be a pleasure to play at a legendary stadium.

“But we believe we can make another miracle. In the last month we have grown up as a team. We are not the same team as a month ago but I think in football everything is possible.

“We will play our football and carry out our plan and we will make chances.

“But we must account for the energy from the start because all starts are frenetic and high tempo from Celtic. It’s tough to play against them.

“I spoke to some Real Madrid players who said the same. They told me the same. Remember in the first half Celtic had three chances against them and they might have led 3-0.

“We know that but we will be mentally strong to suffer because it will be a very tough game for us.

“Without doubt, Celtic are favourites here.”

Jovicevic was full of praise for Ange Postecoglou’s side before and after the game in Poland last month and told his players they would present a tougher challenge than Leipzig, but the German side went on to beat Celtic twice.

“This is football,” Jovicevic said. “The whole focus is on the performance of my team but Celtic are still a top side. They deserve to be here and to be competitive in Europe.

“They have a chance as we have so it’s not finished. All teams have their objectives and beliefs. The plan is we can do it.”

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