Celtic belong in Champions League knockout stages, says Stephen Pearson
By Dev Trehan
Last Updated: 19/10/16 8:45am
Former Celtic midfielder Stephen Pearson is convinced his old club can produce another special performance for the fans in their Champions League clash with Borussia Monchengladbach.
The Hoops recovered from a 7-0 drubbing by Barcelona in their Group B opener to draw 3-3 with Manchester City in a thriller at Celtic Park before the international break.
They sit third in the group - one spot ahead of Wednesday night's opponents - and head into the game with the Bundesliga side on a run of six matches undefeated.
"There can be no denying Celtic have been superb recently and they pushed Manchester City all the way in the Champions League," Pearson told Sky Sports.
"Monchengladbach will obviously be another difficult game for them but the Champions League knockout stages is where the club wants to be and where the fans deserve to be.
"The atmosphere at Celtic Park on European nights really is something very special. You see it on TV with the atmosphere that the supporters create. They really make it a cauldron for the opposition and it always gives Celtic a better chance when they have the crowd behind them."
Pearson played in Celtic's famous 1-0 UEFA Cup win over Barcelona in 2004 but etched his name into club folklore two years later when he came off the bench to round off a 3-0 win over Benfica, helping Celtic reach the Champions League knockout stages.
"Coming on and scoring is always great but just to play in the Champions League is special," boyhood Celtic fan Pearson added.
"It's something I look back on with great pride and to score in that game against Benfica was even better. That was a great moment in my career and now I'm wishing Celtic all the best in Europe."
Pearson is now plying his trade with Indian Super League [ISL] side Atletico Kolkata and finds himself once again playing alongside Iain Hume, who he shared a dressing room with at Kerala Blasters in the 2014 ISL.
"Humey is a good mate of mine," Pearson said. "I played with him at Kerala in my first year and it's really nice to have a familiar face around the place."