BBC Sport
Skip to main contentAccess keys helpA-Z index

[an error occurred while processing this directive]
| Help

Last Updated: Wednesday, 5 November, 2003, 22:59 GMT
O'Neill eyes tight finish
Celtic face two very hard matches in Group A
Celtic manager Martin O'Neill was full of praise for his side after the 3-1 home win over Anderlecht in the Champions League.

But O'Neill says his players still have a "million miles to go" to qualify from a very tight group.

Lyon top Group A with seven points, with Celtic on six, Bayern Munich on five and Anderlecht on four.

"The last time we were involved in this competition we got nine points and didn't make it," said O'Neill.

"And it's going to go to the wire again this time round.

"We're pleased to be second in the group after four games but we're not even guaranteed a Uefa Cup spot.

"We've got six points but we still have a million miles to go."

Bayern Munich, who lost 2-1 at home to Lyon on matchday four, are the next visitors to Celtic Park in three weeks and the group ends with a visit to France.

"Bayern Munich will present us with all sorts of problems and they will be furious after losing tonight," O'Neill continued.

"We're in a good position, but having to play Bayern Munich and then go to Lyon is a tough proposition. "But it's something to look forward to.

I think we surprised them (Anderlecht) with the quality of our play
Martin O'Neill
"I think it's important to enjoy being in this wonderful competition."

Celtic certainly took great pleasure from a great first half display against Anderlecht, in which Henrik Larsson, Liam Miller and Chris Sutton scored.

"We knew beforehand that we simply had to win the match and the players were sensational," said O'Neill.

"That was a Champions League game against a very good side and we scored three - and it could have been five or six - in the first half.

"In the second half they came back at us but we kept the ball well and the crowd stayed with us.

"I knew our energy level would dip and Anderlecht were never completely out of it and when they scored they had us on the back foot for the final 10-15 minutes.

Chris Sutton crashed home Celtic's third goal
"I always think we can score goals with the players we have here, but it was a matter of being resolute as well."

Celtic lost to a 10-man Anderlecht side two weeks ago and O'Neill believed his team had a point to prove.

"My players have nothing to prove to me - I know what they are capable of - but they may have been smarting after the defeat and I think we surprised them with the quality of our play."

O'Neill went on to single out Miller and John Hartson for special praise.

"He was full of invention and energy and had a wonderful game," O'Neill said of 22-year-old Miller, who turned in a sensational first half display.

"The crowd have taken to him - we all have - but we have always known he was an emerging talent."

Hartson had a hand in all three goals and O'Neill was pleased for the striker, who is still building up his fitness after a lengthy summer lay-off with a back injury.

"We all know he's big and strong but there's a lot of subtlety to his game as well," O'Neill said about the Welshman.

"That's the best he's played for us this season."

Celtic boss Martin O'Neill
"The players were sensational"

E-mail services | Sport on mobiles/PDAs


Back to top

Sport Homepage | Football | Cricket | Rugby Union | Rugby League | Tennis | Golf | Motorsport | Boxing | Athletics | Snooker | Horse Racing | Cycling | Disability Sport | US Sport | Other Sport | Olympics 2004

Scores & Fixtures | Have Your Say | Photo Galleries | TV/Radio Listings

Sport Relief 2004 | Fun and Games | Question of Sport | BBC Sport Plus

Northern Ireland | Scotland | Wales

BBC Sport Academy >> | BBC News >> | BBC Weather >>
About the BBC | News sources | Privacy & Cookies Policy | Contact us
banner watch listen bbc sport