The Dubious Goals Committee

Chris Davies: “Celtic have fantastic chance to win a trophy before Christmas”

Having experienced a demanding week, with a Glasgow derby, a tough game in the Nou Camp and then a trip to the Highlands, there is no let-up for the Hoops, who now take on the League One pace-setters, who have only lost one of their opening 12 games in all competitions, winning the other 11.

Jack Ross’ side have already knocked out both Ross County and Inverness Caley Thistle from this season’s League Cup competition, and they head to Paradise full of confidence.

However, as Celtic assistant manager Chris Davies explained, the Hoops players are fully focused on booking a place in the last four of the tournament.

“We’ve had a good day of training,” Davies explained. “It’s good to get back straight out on the grass after a disappointing result. We’re a little bit frustrated after the late goal on Sunday but it’s important at times like this to take a step back and find a perspective very quickly and see the bigger picture.

“For us, that is that we are top of the league, three points clear with a game in hand, in a cup competition that gives us a fantastic chance to win a trophy before Christmas, and we’re in the Champions League. So there are lots of positives.

“What you have to do in disappointing moments is find the opportunities within them. The opportunity for us is that we correct some of the mistakes, we move forward and we become a better team. That’s what we’ll do – we find that positive out of it.”

Celtic established a first-half 2-1 lead against Inverness Caley Thistle at the weekend before producing a dominant second-half performance, and only the heroics of goalkeeper, Owain Fon-Williams, and the intervention of the woodwork denied the Hoops any further goals. That proved to be their undoing as the Highland side snatched a late equaliser for a share of the points.

“We’ve scored a lot of goals this season,” Chris Davies said. “Their goalkeeper had a really good game and you can’t always score all your chances. Of course you want to be clinical but we scored two goals.

“What we’ve got to be as a champion team is a team that can win by one goal. Of course we can do that, but if we’re not quite finishing of the chances or the goalkeeper is having a special day then we are resilient at the other end and ensure we win by one goal.”

And the Celtic assistant manager added that the squad also received a boost with the return of Jozo Simunovic following a length injury lay-off.

“It was good to have Jozo back,” he said. “He came on and made a good appearance. He did excellent in terms of looking strong on the ball and his passing, so we’ll see what that means for Wednesday.

“He trains fantastically and has a great attitude and application. He’s a lovely guy as well. You can see that he has the personality and when he gets on the pitch he wants to defend and be aggressive and he can pass.

“He’s the type of defender that we want and hopefully now he can go from strength to strength and show his robustness, play games and have a good season.”

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