Cluj celebrations will provide motivation for Celtic in Romania

By John Reid

December 12, 2019

Celtic go into their last Europa League match in the rare position of not being in a must-win game. The Hoops head to Romania to play Cluj having already won Group E of the Europa League.

There could be a question about motivation for the Celtic team that starts against Cluj. That is because Cluj need to win the game, and Celtic don’t. However, what should motivate the team and Neil Lennon are the scenes at Celtic Park in August when the teams met in the Champions League qualifiers.

Celtic were in control for much of the third qualifying round second leg tie, until they self-destructed and lost 4-3 to exit the Champions League.

Manager won’t forget celebrations

(Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

The Cluj players celebrated long and loud after that match, as they had every right to do. However, Neil Lennon won’t forget those scenes, and neither will the Celtic players who played in that game who will play against Cluj.

Now Celtic have the chance to get revenge, by knocking Cluj out of Europe completely by defeating them in the last group stage fixture.

What a result it would be for the Hoops to win in Romania. It would be their fifth group stage win in a row, and it would stretch Celtic’s run of victories to 13 games.

Players who come in will be eager to shine

(Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

It could happen, as although Neil Lennon will make changes to his squad, the players who come in will be eager to put on a good performance. They will want to show that they should be in the first-team every week, not once in a while.

Celtic boss Neil Lennon will want to keep the winning run going, even though he will make changes to his side. When he speaks to the team before kick-off, he should remind them of Cluj’s celebrations, and ask the players to put that right.