Craig Gordon confident Celtic will beat AEK and reach Champions League play-offs | Football News

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Last Updated: 12/08/18 11:51am

Craig Gordon is ready for a tough test against AEK  Athens

Craig Gordon is ready for a tough test against AEK Athens

Craig Gordon is confident Celtic will beat AEK Athens and progress into the play-off stages of the Champions League.

Celtic’s bid for Champions League football is in danger following the 1-1 draw against AEK in the first leg at Parkhead, but Gordon remains upbeat that the Scottish champions can get a positive result in Athens on Tuesday.

Celtic must shrug off the disappointment of Saturday’s shock 1-0 Premiership defeat to Hearts as they look to gear themselves up for Champions League progress.

Gordon told Celtic TV: “It’s a massive opportunity for us to go and put in a good performance and try to get into the next round.

“We are slightly behind in the tie, so we have to go there and be very positive, and we definitely have the players who are capable and a team that is capable of going there and winning the game.

“That’s what we need to concentrate on now. All the focus is on trying to get through the next round.”

Gordon is sanguine about another hectic start to the season for the Scottish champions, who will have to have battled through four qualifiers if they are to reach the group stages of the Champions League for the third successive season.

Jack Hendry and Craig Gordon are both expecting Celtic to progress in the Champions League

Jack Hendry and Craig Gordon are both expecting Celtic to progress in the Champions League

The former Hearts and Sunderland goalkeeper said: “It’s not changed from any other season.

“This is what we have to go through at this stage of the season, and we still have to win games.

“Even if we don’t win, we had the chance to get out of Tynecastle with a 0-0, take a point and move on, but we didn’t manage to do that.

“It was a fairly close game. There wasn’t a great deal of big chances. It was a scrap from start to finish and one strike ends up in the bottom corner and they get the win.

“I don’t think there was a great deal in the game. We would have looked to carry a bigger threat, but we ended up giving away a bad goal and lost the game.”

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skysports brendan rodgers celtic 4387355 1:23
Brendan Rodgers is calm over the strength of his squad

Brendan Rodgers is calm over the strength of his squad

Defender Jack Hendry is also upbeat ahead of the trip to Greece and believes the back-to-back treble winners are capable of getting the job done against the Greek champions.

“The full focus is on that now,” the 23-year-old said.

“We have to go over there and do a job and the lads believe we are more than capable of doing that so full focus on that and making sure we get through to the next round.

“I thought we were the better team by far during the week so if we can implement that over there, I am sure that we will go there and do the job, but it obviously going there and doing it.”

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