Erik Sviatchenko sure Celtic can recover from Euro blow to win league
ERIK SVIATCHENKO is confident Celtic can recover from their Champions League heartache and clinch a place in the history books this term.
Neil Lennon’s side crashed out at the third qualifying round last week as they were beaten 4-3 at home by Cluj.
The defeat means Celtic will now face AIK in the Europa League play-off but there will be no return to Parkhead for Sviatchenko after his Midtjylland side lost out to Rangers.
The embarrassing exit for Celtic was another blow for the Hoops and Scottish football but Sviatchenko has backed his former club to put the disappointment behind them and regroup for their shot at nine-in-a-row this season.
He said: “It was disappointing as I know how much the co-efficient points matter to Scottish football just as much as the victories as it’s the same with us in Danish football.
“That’s why it would have been good for us to have won at Ibrox, even if we didn’t go through, as a victory would still have helped our coefficient. But Celtic will bounce back, especially as Rangers appear to have something to say this season. I’m looking forward very much to watching the season unfold.
“I’m looking forward to it because, as I’ve said before, it’s always good to have more than one team dominating in the league. Even though I have Celtic in my heart and I hope they will go on and give everything to achieve nine-in-a-row and then the magical number 10.
“All the best to Celtic players and hopefully they will reach this record.
“I will take every piece of history there is, especially as I had such a wonderful time at Celtic. There are still some titles to win, call me when they win them!”
Celtic look set to face their strongest challenge yet from across the Old Firm divide as Rangers bid for title glory.
Sviatchenko won the league under Ronny Deila and said: “It’s so difficult to compare especially as my Midtjylland team now are less experienced than the Celtic team I played in.
“We have young players who have so much potential but who haven’t played on this stage before. I won’t say, therefore, we can compare them but they do well, they have good players, players with experience and those who have played in the Premier League more than 100 games and of course they know how to play football.
“Over the course of these two legs they were far better than us and we have to accept that.”