CFR Cluj manager Dan Petrescu has stated that Celtic don’t know how to lose, as he bigged us up after last night.
Cluj were frustrated by Neil Lennon’s Hoops side in a successful night for the Bhoys in Romania. James Forrest’s goal canceled out Mario Rondon’s effort midway through the first-half.
Of course, this isn’t the first time Celtic have come from behind in Europe this season either. In our very first qualification match in Sarajevo, we also shipped a goal before managing to bag three and secure a fine win in Bosnia. The draw in Cluj, meanwhile, stretched our unbeaten run in friendly and competitive matches to nine for the season.
And Petrescu has praised our unbeaten form, telling Romanian outlet MonitorulCJ that it’s not in our DNA to lose matches.
“Celtic this year – they haven’t lost a game of football, nor do they know how to lose. I don’t think this year they’ve had a game as hard as this. Now we can’t surprise them anymore – they felt on their skin that CFR Cluj is a good team.
“In the first half they played well and we did too. In the second they got even more tired. So overall it was a very good match. I think since my time at CFR, that was the best match. This is the best opponent to have entered the stadium since I’ve been at CFR – honestly.”
Positive words from the CFR Cluj manager – but Celtic can’t be fooled
Back-patting and a wee cuddle is all well and good from Petrescu. At the end of the day, however, he remains fond of mind-games in his managerial duels.
We can’t go into next week thinking the is over – that would almost be suicide from the Hoops. We have to acknowledge that Cluj still posed us problems in Romania. Yes, we have the advantage, but advantages don’t win you ties – it’s the ability to finish off teams that do.
Neil Lennon was quick to dismiss Petrescu’s claims that beating Celtic would be a miracle a couple of days ago (Celtic TV). Perhaps those words have more legitimacy now, but even then, the Celtic boss won’t be thinking that way.
There’s a colossal job to do at Celtic Park next week. The rewards are obvious too – a shot at Slavia Prague and a chance at Champions League group stage football. It’s salivating considering the prize-money going in the competition these days. Celtic could earn a cool €15.25million just for qualifying. (UEFA).
But in order to achieve that, we have to continue taking Cluj as seriously as we did last night. A professional performance next week and Celtic will be flying into the playoff round.