Celtic assistant manager Chris Davies hasn’t hidden how difficult it will be for the Hoops to reach the Champions League group stages for the third season in a row.
The Hoops senior figure was speaking on the day the Bhoys were told of their first two opponents in the qualifiers, taking on Armenian champions Alashkert in the first round of qualifying and either Rosenborg or Valur Reykjavik in the second.
The ties were announced on the official Champions League Twitter account.
— UEFA Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) June 19, 2018
Even if the Hoops manage to get past those two rounds they would have another two rounds to go before qualifying and Davies is well aware how tough the challenge will be.
“We know it’s a real challenge to qualify for the Champions League, we’re under no illusions at all” he said, as quoted on the Hoops’ official Twitter account.
— Celtic Football Club (@CelticFC) June 19, 2018
“For us there’s no doubt in anyone’s mind, the players, the staff, the supporters of the club, that we know it’s a challenge to get into the Champions League, everyone knows that.”
Football Insider verdict
Chris Davies is very honest in his comments, trying to get through to the Champions League group stages seems to get harder every year. The added tie this season doesn’t help, as does the fact that the majority of the games take place before the Hoops play competitive football. Even though the Hoops have managed to conquer Scottish football under Davies and Brendan Rodgers, just qualifying for the group stages is a very hazardous process for the Hoops, as the matches against Hapoel and Astana show. A comfortable win in the heat of Armenia would be the perfect start to the campaign, but a win over Rosenborg would be a real statement. If the current Hoops side are able to pull off a comfortable win in comparison to last year’s nerve-shredder, the Hoops would prove that they are a better side that last season and would go into the next round of the qualifiers with nothing to fear.
In other Celtic news, John Hartson has told Odsonne Edouard he would be pleased to give him career advice