Celtic wing-back Diego Laxalt has stated that the Hoops don’t need his inside info on Milan, as he says the club is thoroughly prepared for tomorrow’s match.
The Hoops and the Rossoneri will square off in a Europa League group stage opener at Celtic Park in just over 24 hours. The game comes five days after Celtic lost the first Glasgow derby of the season 2-0 to rivals Rangers.
Laxalt made what would end up being an unceremonious debut, but there is still reason for optimism after he produced a capable performance despite only training with his team-mates for under a fortnight.
And he’s been speaking today about the key message Lennon has been giving to the players, as well as how he doesn’t need to give the management staff any secrets on his permanent employers.
Speaking via the official Celtic website, Laxalt said: “Every team has their weaknesses, but I don’t need to tell the staff here how AC Milan play and how they’re working. We’re well-prepared and our coaches have told us exactly how they want us to play.
“The manager told us that we’ve got to have faith in our play and be aggressive in our style of play. We need to stick together as a team as we’ve got a lot games coming up. We’re always looking forward and being positive and I really believe that this is a squad that can and knows how to win.
“It’s obviously feels bad, like any defeat does, but it’s worse because it was a derby. But we’ve got a great chance to play again tomorrow night and make things right. We’ve got lot of games coming up and I’m ready. We’ve got to have faith and believe in each other, we’re working well and we’re looking forward to a great battle against Milan.”
Celtic must dig deep to get out of horrific performance slump
Even though we’ve only dropped five points all season, the performances have been poor since the 1-1 draw against Kilmarnock back in August.
Since then, we’ve only seen a couple of good performances at the most. The 3-0 win at home to Hibernian and 5-0 mauling of Ross County in Dingwall stand out the most. However, even both of those matches contained genuine chances for the opposition.
We’ve yet to produce the complete performance this season. And therefore Lennon has made the right move in urging his players to have faith in their own abilities and a belief in how they play. They must remember some of the winning runs they’ve been on in the past – especially when the chips have been down.
Even for players like Laxalt who are just in the door. Looking back on their careers, can they really not find within themselves an ability that should breeze past everything Scotland has to offer? Of course they can, and that’s what must be found in the coming weeks.
Tomorrow night’s match is, in the main, just a glamour game. So long as we give ourselves a good showing then the supporters will be satisfied. We all acknowledge just how good Milan are.
But Laxalt doesn’t seem flustered by their quality. That’s a relief given how well he knows them. Hopefully it bodes well for our performance over the course of what will be our toughest 90 minutes of the season.