Husref Musemic’s reaction to Sarajevo’s loss to Celtic last night has been predictably relaxed.
There wasn’t any moaning or anger from the Sarajevo manager, who took time to praise his players after a trying eight days against the Hoops. On the night, they were outclassed by a thoroughly dominant Celtic, but still managed to leave with just a 2-1 deficit.
They may even have sneaked a draw on another night too. Sarajevo got into some promising areas, but a lack of quality halted them from taking advantage with the final ball.
And speaking to Bosnian outlet Nezavisne Novine, Musemic was only interested in talking about his own players’ display.
“I’m not dissatisfied. What I love most is when the players have good will, which they did at Celtic Park. We opened the game well. We had two, three situations that had we had a better ending we could’ve got something more.
“After that, we were punished in similar ways to the first match. We played the second half better. We had two or three players who missed this game. It is a lot, but it is what it is.
“I wish there was a tie left to play, but we’re moving on.”
Husref Musemic’s reaction level-headed
To be fair to the Sarajevo manager, he has consistently handled himself with class throughout this tie. Even if his team were a bit too overaggressive, Musemic has been constantly praising of Celtic and his own players.
Sarajevo proved a plucky opponent for this stage of the competition. The Bosnians seriously frustrated Celtic with their late challenges, some of which were far too dangerous and needed more strict refereeing.
But there’s also no denying that we did struggle in stages to break them down. They’re nothing great, and perhaps even nothing good, but you can see why they’ve occasionally gotten to the second and third qualifying rounds of the competition.
Their domestic competition kicks off this weekend. It would hardly be surprising to see them amongst the contenders to face us at the same stage of the Champions League next season.
Celtic now move on to next week’s first leg clash against Nomme Kalju in the second qualifying round. It’s another first for us against the Estonians, but whether they prove a step-up in quality from Sarajevo remains to be seen.
Their victory in Shkendija proves they have something about them. But so long as they’re not as physical as Musemic’s men, we should get through it without many problems.