CRAIG GORDON insists the Celtic players did not think about missing Bhoy Dedryck Boyata against AEK Athens.

The Hoops keeper admitted it was all about the players who turned up for the crucial – and ultimately disappointing – Champions League qualifier in the Greek capital.

Boyata was left out of the squad in controversial circumstances, but Gordon said his antics did not interfere with the focus of his colleagues who went into the crunch confrontation.

He said: “We just get on with our work. We gave everything against AEK, we gave our best to try to get through to the next round and we didn’t manage it.

“We came very close against a decent team. We feel as if we’ve come out on the wrong end of a result we should have done better in.

“We were just concentrating on the game, the guys who were here, and what we had to do to try to win.

“It was always going to be a difficult game having not been able to get the second goal last week.

“We knew what we had to do. Everything else that goes on behind the scenes is not really taken into account when the boys are focused on a game.

“But it was up to the guys who were out there to go out and get something from the game to ensure we got through.

“We weren’t capable of that and that was very disappointing.”

The Parkhead men will now take their place in the Europa League play-offs where they will face either Lithuanians Suduva or Latvians Spartaks Jurmala who play tonight for the right to face Gordon and Co over the next fortnight.


About Author


Acclaimed author Alex Gordon wrote the biography of Scotland international legend Denis Law, entitled 'King and Country'. He is a former columnist with World Soccer magazine and Scottish correspondent of respected European journal L'Equipe.

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