Celtic wary of motivated Motherwell

PA Sport
Johan Mjallby
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Johan Mjallby

Johan Mjallby knows that Motherwell's Champions League dreams mean Celtic will have to be at their best when they visit Fir Park in the Clydesdale Bank Premier League on Sunday.

With second-placed Rangers out of the running for a European spot due to being in administration, Stuart McCall's men could clinch a qualifying place in Europe's elite club competition just by remaining in third place.

Celtic's assistant manager said: "Motherwell should be very motivated. They have been very strong this season, they are in a nice position and they have a lot to play for. So we know it's going to be a tough game, it usually is at Fir Park."

He added: "I won't say they haven't been motivated in the other games we have played them. But we really need to be at our best and we want to get back to winning ways because it was disappointing to lose the cup semi-final.

"In most of the games that we haven't won this season, we have created enough chances to win them. That is probably the only criticism we have (of the players), there have been quite a few games where we have created chances but haven't taken them, we have been a bit wasteful in the department."

While Motherwell are being chased by St Johnstone, Dundee United and Hearts for that coveted Champions League qualifying place, Celtic know they have two qualifiers to negotiate via the 'champions path' before they get into the lucrative group stages.

Mjallby also revealed early plans are being put in place for next season.

The former Sweden international said: "We are starting to discuss things and it is really important for the club to be ready when the first game comes.

"It is going to be a big thing for us to try to qualify, there is a big prize at the end of it.

"So we have to have a good pre-season and make sure we are ready."

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