"It's been a bit messy"; Bodo/Glimt hero has kickstarted the pre-Celtic mind games
Bodo/Glimt captain Ulrik Saltnes has kick-started the pre-Celtic mind games as he admitted the Hoops could have an advantage with the Norwegian champions’ pre-season camp described as “a bit messy”.
Our Europa Conference League rivals have been in Spain for several weeks gearing up for Thursday night’s Celtic Park last-32 first-leg clash. The game will mark Bodo/Glimt’s first competitive match of the season with their league campaign yet to get underway.
Meanwhile, they’ve had to replace some of their top assets from last season. The likes of Patrick Berg, Erik Botheim, and Frerik Andre Bjorkan have all moved on whilst manager Kjetil Knutsen has had to hunt for hidden nuggets to replace them.
And with Bodo early in their rebuilding stage whilst Celtic are flying high with 8 consecutive wins in 2022, Saltnes believes the Hoops could have an advantage.
As quoted by the Daily Record, he said: “It has been a bit messy and there has been a lot of players in and out. We have not been able to play together as long as we hoped for, but it is also very good. We actually look pretty good for this time of year. We are still in our pre-season so that could maybe give Celtic an advantage.
“But it’s hard to say. We’d obviously like to have been playing regularly but perhaps we can go in with a bit of extra energy. Celtic have had a pretty hard schedule. If Celtic think they are favourites – that’s fine with me.”
Celtic have suffered too many Euro failures to take Bodo/Glimt easy
As Celtic supporters, we know that if there’s one club that has no right to take any European tie easy then it’s ourselves. Not with some of the horror results we’ve experienced over the years.
There have been times when we’ve gone into European ties with far too much confidence. Perhaps even arrogance. Malmo, Maribor, Ferencvaros, Cluj, Copenhagen, Midtjylland. You get the picture. We’ve been down this road before and been stung badly.
So we know you simply don’t get any easy ties on the European stage. Bodo/Glimt will come to Parkhead and provide us with some stiff competition. Of course they will, they’re the Norwegian champions after all. They come with guaranteed quality.
But there is something refreshing about the current scenario. That it will be us who will have the opportunity to take on a side who haven’t yet started the season. Normally it’s the other way around when we kickstart our own European campaigns against Scandinavian sides.
So let’s see if it does indeed give us any advantage. Celtic have every right to feel confident heading into this one, but it’s complacency that they need to avoid.
Fingers crossed that’s the message Ange is hammering into the players ahead of our return to Europe this week.