By Matt Farr

Celtic assistant manager Chris Davies insists the Champions League is a better place with Celtic in it.

The Scottish champions have booked their place in Europe’s premier competition ahead of next season with a dominant display in the Scottish Premiership.

But their European adventure this season ended as early in the group-stage, with Celtic finishing bottom of their group behind Barcelona, Manchester City and Borussia Monchengladbach.

However, aside from a 7-0 drubbing by Barcelona, Celtic remained competitive throughout, earning respectable draws against Man City and Gladbach.

Speaking to BBC Sport, Davies remained upbeat about Celtic’s chances in next year’s competition, insisting that the club were relishing another opportunity to test themselves at the highest level.

He said: “The Champions League is a better place with Celtic in it. Everyone would agree with that.

“It would be great to play against one of the big teams again next year and measure ourselves in terms of where we are at as a team against them.

“That’s the aim, we want to be at the highest level, representing Celtic, making our fans proud on the biggest stage and that is what we’re aiming for.”

Celtic fans will no doubt be delighted by the big claim from Brendan Rodgers’ No.2 about the club’s role in the Champions League, with Davies having insisted the competition would miss them if they failed to qualify.

The Scottish club have not, however, progressed further than the group-stages of the competition since the 2012-13 season, under the stewardship of Neil Lennon.

Celtic had finished second in their group, winning three of their six matches, including an iconic victory over Barcelona.

But they were then eliminated by Italian giants Juventus at the next hurdle, and have since struggled to make any lasting impact in the competition.

They will though, have to first make it through the qualifying stages of the competition, which will begin in July.

In other Celtic news, a Premier League manager issued a response to reported interest in this Celtic ace.

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