FC Midtjylland boss Bo Henriksen plays down Celtic expectations ahead of Champions League clash
Following a surprise defeat to OB in the Danish Superliga, FC Midtjylland boss Bo Henriksen is taking an interesting view of their clash with Celtic on Tuesday in Champions League Qualifying.
Midtjylland were undone by a stoppage time goal. And, following the shock result, Henriksen is suggesting there’s a “180” turn in expectations from game to game.
FC Midtjylland will be greeted by 9,000 Celtic supporters on Tuesday night. He reckons his team are underdogs, looking ahead to the Champions League qualifying clash.
Henriksen said [Tipsbladet]:
“Against Celtic we are underdogs, while against OB we were probably huge favorites [sic], so things are turned 180 degrees a bit.
“We are really looking forward to getting over there, and playing on these stages is what we dream of.
“I expect that we stand together, that we stand well in the defense [sic] and take the chances that present themselves.”
FC Midtjylland made the group stages of the Champions League last season. They didn’t progress, but earned creditable draws with Atalanta and Liverpool [UEFA].
Former Hoops defender Erik Sviatchenko added [Tipsbladet]:
“The team must take the good things from here, but at the same time we must get on our toes in relation to the not so good things.
“It will be a bold and challenging match, but we have to think back to how it went at the end of the Champions League and take it with us.”
On returning to Celtic Park, Sviatechenko said:
“It’s going to be cool and I’m looking forward to playing the game and giving it gas.”
Mind games from Midtjylland boss Bo Henriksen ahead of Celtic clash?
For sure, FC Midtjylland are an interesting position.
Bo Henriksen joined the club from AC Horsens, who were relegated last season. An eyebrow-raising arrival, perhaps. Henriksen will already be feeling the heat after last night’s surprising result. A disappointing result against Celtic would make his seat that bit hotter.
However, these comments read as an attempt to impose some complacency in the Celtic ranks. FC Midtjylland aren’t some plucky wee team; they’re former Danish Superliga champions, who regularly compete in Europe.
Either Henriksen isn’t acting like his club have been here before, or he’s performing some dark arts ahead of the Celtic tie.
As for Sviatchenko? Talk of the ex-Bhoys centre-back making a return to Glasgow seem like a long time ago now. While the Hoops still haven’t signed the requisite defenders to ease fans’ anxieties, it seems increasingly unlikely Big Erik will be back in the Green and White any time soon.
Both Henriksen and Sviatchenko will be aware of how big a deal Tuesday night is for both teams.
READ MORE: Talking of the Champions League…