Celtic player admits he's returning from international duty with a "huge sense of failure"
Celtic defender Nir Bitton has admitted that he’s returning from international duty with Israel with a “huge sense of failure”.
Israel went into the November internationals still with a chance of qualifying for the World Cup. However, a 4-2 going over in Austria ended their hopes – a game in which Bitton scored in.
The Israelis did manage to earn some pride with a 3-2 home win over the Faroe Islands, and ended up finishing 3rd despite being the 4th seeds in the group.
Bitton has since reacted to the international camp via his official Instagram page, which is private only to his over 99k followers. And as he prepared to return to Parkhead, he had the following to say on their World Cup run:
“Another campaign is over and this time it’s with a huge sense of failure that we really could have taken the next step.
“Thank you very much for the support during the campaign and the renewed faith in the Israeli team. We all have a common goal.”
Nir Bitton and Liel Abada may need a pick-me-up upon their Celtic returns
Abada may only have played 9 minutes of Israel’s double-header, but both he and Bitton will likely need a big result upon their returns to Celtic Park this week.
The Hoops face St Johnstone in the Premier Sports Cup on Saturday. Both men will likely be essential cogs in the matchday squad for Ange Postecoglou. A big Hampden win and all of a sudden the morale will be lifted for both.
With regards to how they performed for their country of course, they should be anything but ashamed. They managed to finish higher than their seeded rank. It was, after all, their 5-2 mauling of Austria earlier on in the campaign that helped them finish above them.
That’s a big achievement for Willie Ruttensteiner’s side. Bitton and Abada will surely be taking pride in it, even if they had a mathematical chance to snatch a playoff spot heading into the final 2 games. That never had a realistic opportunity of happening considering Scotland were far too electric over the last 3 months.
So hopefully they aren’t too deflated upon their Celtic return. We need as many players returning feeling good about themselves as possible. Outside of Abada and Bitton, that shouldn’t be a problem given the success of Japan, Croatia, and Scotland respectively.
Hopefully that confidence shows come Saturday.