Celtic left-back Boli Bolingoli-Mbombo agrees with fans that the club should be looking for some Cluj revenge on Thursday night.
The Hoops are closing in on their second Europa League group stage match of the season. The main goal will be to add to the impressive point picked up in Rennes with another three this week. However, the overbearing shadow of Cluj’s 4-3 win here back in August is difficult to shake.
The main narrative heading into the game is all about revenge. It’s been a popular angle from the Celtic fans too. A chance to finally show Cluj what Neil Lennon’s team are all about.
And speaking in the Daily Record, Boli couldn’t agree more with that assessment.
“Of course we have a chance of revenge against Cluj, absolutely. We’re at home and it’s a big game for us so we have to show Cluj who we really are this time.
“For me the biggest disappointment wasn’t not playing against them but that we were knocked out of the Champions League.
“I was on the bench that night but I really wanted us to qualify for that competition. It was strange that we scored three goals at home and still lost. That was very hard to take but we have to forget that because it’s over. We can move on now.”
Boli has a big point to prove on Thursday
Back in the August meeting at Parkhead between the sides, Boli remained on the bench for the full 90 minutes. Instead, Lenny incredibly played Callum McGregor at left-back. It was the most criticised decision our manager has made since coming back.
He won’t make the same mistake this week. Belgian defender Boli can prove the manager made an error with a positive display on Thursday night.
In fairness to Lennon, Boli was seriously struggling for form at the time. He had just come off a nervy performance at Motherwell in the 5-2 success at Fir Park. Things weren’t going well for him, and Lennon clearly didn’t think he was ready to be thrown in the firing line.
But that took McGregor’s influence out of the midfield and allowed Cluj to have more authority on the game. Scott Brown and Olivier Ntcham didn’t have the pace to halt the Romanians from getting good spells of possession.
It will be interesting to see how Boli fares this week. He’s going to be vital if we’re to have a good night at Parkhead on Thursday. Another shaky display and it could be something Cluj take advantage of, just like they did with McGregor.
A win here isn’t just three points. It’s a sign of progress. A sign that Lennon has learned from his mistakes and has taken this team on. Boli will most certainly have a huge part to play in that.