According to The Scottish Sun, former Celtic man Johan Mjällby has said that there is no reason why The Bhoys cannot win the Europa League this season.
This will be encouraging to players and fans at Celtic Park, but heaps pressure on manager Brendan Rodgers to perform in Europe with the club.
The former Sweden centre back spoke of his disappointment at The Hoops’ failure to make the Champions League this year, after losing to AEK Athens, but remains confident that the club can triumph in Europe’s second tier.
The Glaswegians have enjoyed a couple of hugely successful seasons under Brendan Rodgers, winning back-to-back trebles, but European silverware remains an elusive target. This will play on the manager’s mind, and the comments by Mjällby will only increase his pressure to achieve this goal.
While Celtic may feel confident of another successful season domestically, despite the revival of Rangers under Steven Gerrard, this season may well hinge on their success in Europe. If Rodgers fails to steer the side to the deeper stages of the competition, questions may be asked about his hunger and drive at the club.
Mjällby enjoyed a great six year spell in Glasgow, amassing three Scottish Premier League titles, two League Cup Winner’s medals, and two Scottish Cups, but failed in the club’s attempts to succeed in Europe, only managing to earn a UEFA Cup Runners Up medal.
It will be nice for the players to know that they have support and belief from former players to perform, but it ramps up the pressure on Rodgers.