Noel Whelan insists that Tuesday’s win over RK Reykjavik will be a “huge boost” for Celtic ahead of their return to Premiership action.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, the former Aberdeen hitman admits that the Hoops have a big advantage over rivals Rangers in that they have years of recent experience of balancing both European and domestic games.
The Hoops strolled into the next round of the Champions League qualifiers with a 6-0 win over the Icelandic outfit, with Mohamed Elyounoussi netting a brace for Neil Lennon’s men.
— Celtic Football Club (@CelticFC) August 18, 2020
The Bhoys have failed to reach the group stages of Europe’s premier club competition for the last two years and have had to compete in the Europa League instead.
Whelan insists that reaching the Champions League is “massive” for Celtic this season and that Tuesday’s win will give Lennon and his men a big boost ahead of their return to domestic action.
Asked how important the Hoops’ European win would be heading back into Premiership action, Whelan told Football Insider: “That’s what it’s all about, that’s one thing that Rangers couldn’t do towards the back end of last season.
“They had a great run in Europe but then found it difficult to emulate the same kind of quality in the Premiership and that’s what they struggled with last season, dealing with both.
“They’ve only just come back into that, Rangers, having to play domestic and the cup competitions at home and abroad. Celtic have been doing this for years now so they know how to deal with that, how to rotate, how to play your foreign games and adjust and get a job done.
“It doesn’t mean you have to play fancy football, it’s about getting the points in the bag and the wins. I think Celtic, getting that win, will give them a huge boost because it’s a massive, massive competition, the Champions League.
“That’s where you want to see yourselves, that’s what the club will be demanding as well as being dominant in the domestic league. For Neil Lennon, it’s another sign the players are at it, he’s keeping them focused, switched on and keeping them in that winning mentality.”
In other Celtic news, the club are lining up a £2million-plus bid as they prepare to sell a senior star.