Champions League: Celtic will expect to progress, says Andy Walker
Celtic will expect to beat all of their potential Champions League play-off opponents, says Andy Walker.
Last Updated: 08/08/13 11:45am
That's the view of former Hoops striker Andy Walker after Neil Lennon's men secured their spot in Friday's draw with a 1-0 aggregate victory over Swedish side Elfsborg - Kris Commons netting the decisive goal in the first leg at Celtic Park.
Austria Vienna (Austria), Legia Warsaw (Poland), Maribor (Slovenia), Ludogorets Razgrad (Bulgaria) or Shakhter Karagandy (Kazakhstan) now stand between Celtic and the Champions League group stages, in which they beat Barcelona last term.
And Walker told Sky Sports News that Lennon, who propelled the Bhoys into the last 16 of Europe's premier club competition in 2012-13, will be desperate for his team to advance in order to boost his already-burgeoning reputation.
"The Champions League will define Celtic's season," he said. "It is hugely important they are through and even when you look at some of the opponents they could face, they would fancy their chances against anyone.
"Neil is never as animated as he is on Champions League nights as he knows it gives him added credibility as a manager - while his team were totally professional over the two legs against Elfsborg.
"I was at the first game in Glasgow and Celtic weren't at their best but they got a very narrow victory and crucial clean sheet - and then got a clean sheet and the job done away. That is a very good habit to be in."
On where the Hoops should be looking to strengthen before the transfer window closes, Walker added: "If Celtic had slipped up last night, it would have been down to passing up opportunities that they created.
"So having lost someone like Gary Hooper - who got goals at every level for Celtic - they need someone with pedigree. They are looking at getting someone in and they owe it to the supporters to get someone in."
Catch the draw for the Champions League play-off, which also features Arsenal, from 11am on Friday on Sky Sports News.