Fenerbahce coach Vitor Pereira admits sympathy for Celtic
By Andrew Dickson
Last Updated: 09/12/15 5:07pm
Fenerbahce coach Vitor Pereira admits Celtic have been unlucky to finish bottom of their Europa League group this season.
The Scottish champions are in Turkey for Thursday's final pool game at the Sukru Saracoglu Stadium having failed to win any of their previous five games and taken just two points.
They led in both their meetings with Ajax before drawing in Amsterdam then losing their home fixture at Parkhead.
Ronny Deila's men also sacrificed a two-goal advantage against Fenerbahce in Glasgow to draw 2-2 at the start of October.
Pereira - linked with the manager's position at Rangers in the summer before Mark Warburton was appointed - believes Celtic are a better side than their results suggest.
He said: "Teams need luck and Celtic have not had that small element of luck so far. Luck was not with them.
"They paid hugely for small errors - sometimes a stopped ball or counter-attack cost them. Against Ajax, Celtic wanted to score but they made one error and Ajax scored but it was an even match.
"We have been in a challenging group. Before the group started people did not know Molde and they say they are surprised by them, but Molde has proven that they are a dangerous team.
"The first game at Celtic was very challenging for us. We had lost our balance and the minute we lost control of the game we lost two goals but then we were lucky enough to have a tie.
"Our aim is to win tomorrow but I am sure Celtic will be fighting for their honour and they are going to try to prove that they don't deserve to be in this position in this group.
"It will be a challenging match but as a club we have a strong spirit. Hopefully we will walk away with three points."
Pereira could yet have former Arsenal and Manchester United striker Robin van Persie available to him despite the Dutchman missing a 2-2 draw against Gaziantepspor at the weekend.
He has had a thigh problem and Pereira added: "There is one more training session and then we will see who is in the team. We will assess Van Persie's condition but it is not very serious."