Celtic captain Scott Brown has backed his side to produce a remarkable comeback as they bid to claw their way past Legia Warsaw in their UEFA Champions League third-round qualifier today.
Ronny Deila’s side trail 4-1 from the first leg after a comprehensive defeat in Poland and face a tough task to make it through to the final playoff qualifying stage of Europe’s elite club competition.
Yet the Scottish champions can draw hope from last season’s 3-0 home win against Shakhter Karagandy, which took them into the group stages after they had initially fallen 2-0 behind in the first leg, and Brown is backing his teammates to again mount a great escape.
“It’s going to be hard because we need three goals and we need to show them how good we are, but I believe we can do it,” Brown said. “The Shakhter game last season was huge for us — we scored three goals then and we have to do it again this week.”
Brown will once again be sidelined due to a hamstring injury he sustained in pre-season and in his absence, Celtic suffered a heavy defeat in the Polish capital, Warsaw, after taking an early lead.
Defender Efe Ambrose was sent off in the first half and the result, defeat in the first competitive game under new Norwegian manager Deila, could have been far worse but for two missed penalties from the hosts.
The return leg is to be played at Edinburgh’s Murrayfield Stadium as work continues on Celtic Park following its use in the Commonwealth Games.
Brown said that the Celtic players will want to use the match to prove the critics who have written off their chances wrong.
“Everyone knows it was a disappointing result and it was hard to take, but we’ve got a chance here to go and put it right and I’m sure we will,” the midfielder said.
“It always hurts when people write you off, but that’s football. People always write you off. That’s when you have to put the wrongs right and go out there and show everyone what you can do. You can prove a point to everyone out there on the field,” Brown said.