Sarajevo boss drums up Celtic clash; praises our "special history"

By Hamish Carton

September 25, 2020

Vinko Marinovic, the boss of FK Sarajevo, reckons that his side’s game against Celtic next week is a historic encounter.

Neil Lennon will take his Hoops side to Bosnia next Thursday, knowing that we’re just 90 minutes away from the Europa League group stage.

But while that may not be seen as a great feat given our lofty ambitions, victory would be one of the greatest in the history of our hosts.

Those are the words of Marinovic, who had plenty of nice to things to say about us – as per the Scottish Sun.

“This is a chance that comes along once in a generation”, he said. “After so many years, we finally have a chance to make history.

FK Sarajevo boss Vinko Marinovic / (Photo by Alex Grimm/Getty Images for DFB)

“I didn’t even know we were playing Celtic in the next round until after the game. I never looked at it. I was only interested in this match.

“Celtic are a team that has a very special history and we are playing the team and the famous name.

“We will respect them to the maximum and I can assure you I will spend every minute preparing for the game now.

“It’s a one-off tie and anything and everything is possible.”

Celtic will face some fire in Bosnia

Marinovic’s words are an early indicator of what we can expect in the Bosnian capital next week.

Yes, our meeting with Sarajevo last season was in the Champions League, but this Europa League clash is arguably more pivotal – given the reward of group stage football that is on the line.

They will respect us, but also know that a home game gives them their best opportunity ever to make it to the Europa League proper.

Celtic won’t have to deal with Sarajevo’s fans / (Photo by Samir Yordamovic/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

There may be no fans in place next week, unlike last season, but we will still be in for a stormy encounter.

They’re going to throw everything at us and we must be ready for that.

If we deal with it in the right way then our quality should come through, just like it did last season.

But this is going to be far from easy.

In other news, Jozo Simunovic could make his debut for Rijeka against old foes Copenhagen next week