Collins: Ciftci fresh for Europe

Date published: Tuesday 21st July 2015 10:08

The summer signing from Dundee United was hit with an eight-game ban on Monday – two of which are suspended – after being found guilty of biting Jim McAlister during the Dundee derby on the final day of last season.

The 23-year-old striker will miss Celtic’s six Premiership fixtures in August but will be available for the Hoops’ Champions League qualifying campaign after making his debut in the 2-0 first-leg win over Stjarnan in the second qualifying round.

“Obviously he won’t be available for early league games but he will be fresh for European games so for every negative there is a positive,” Collins said.

“It is disappointing for Nadir and ourselves but the decision is made and we just have to move on, we will wait on him coming back.

“It happened with his previous club and we knew that the hearing was yesterday.

“We had to wait on the result, the decision was made and we just have to move on and we all learn from our mistakes and hopefully it won’t happen again. We want our players to be competitive but within the rules of the game.

“He will be focused and looking forward to tomorrow’s game. It is in the past, he will take his punishment and learn from it and look forward to playing well in a Celtic jersey.”

After missing out on the Champions League group stages last season, Collins reiterated how important qualification would be to the Scottish Premiership holders.

“Everyone knows what the Champions League means, it is the biggest tournament in the world,” he said.

“Coaches, managers, supporters – everyone attached to Celtic Football Club and Scottish football wants to see Celtic progress to the group stages.

“That’s where we want to be, in with the big boys but we have to earn the right to be there.

“It is a good score, we haven’t conceded, we will go there and look to score goals.

“If we lose our concentration and we are slack, they will cause us problems – but I am comfortable and confident, if everyone is switched on, then we will be fine.”

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