Celtic skipper Scott Brown is determined to reach the Champions League group stage
Last Updated: 12/07/16 7:28am
Celtic skipper Scott Brown is determined to make up for the disappointment of the last two years and help the club clinch a place in the Champions League group stage.
The Scottish champions have crashed out in the qualifying stages in the play-offs two seasons in succession and had to settle for Europa League football instead.
Celtic start their campaign in Gibraltar on Tuesday with the first-leg second qualifying round match against Lincoln Red Imps.
Brown concedes he has missed playing at the top level in Europe, but he believes new Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers has the team well prepared.
"We need to get to the group stage. It has been two years now and it has been a hard two years to take," Brown said.
"That is the reason I came to Celtic, to play in Champions League games against the big guns, and we are as good as anybody on our day.
"The gaffer has come in, the training has been phenomenal and all the lads have bought into it and there is a smile back on everyone's face - especially the Celtic fans, and if they are behind us you never know what we can do.
"There is always confidence going into the Champions League, we always look forward to it.
"In the last couple of seasons, the final furlong has been really disappointing and this is the year we need to put it right."
Brown believes Rodgers has already improved the side over the course of four unbeaten pre-season friendlies in Austria and Slovenia.
"The gaffer has been talking through the way he wants us to play and it has been good from start to finish," the Hoops midfielder said.
"We are more organised and defending from front to back, we are more of a team."The gaffer is huge on everyone working back, working as a team, pressing as a team and not being a team full of individuals."