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BURKE AIMS FOR SPECIAL NIGHT

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OLIVER BURKE is eager to sample the special European atmosphere at Parkhead this evening as Celtic take on Valencia.

Brendan Rodgers’ men are just two games away from a place in the last 16 of the Europa League and the on-loan frontman, with three goals already since his arrival from West Brom last month, is determined to play his part.

The 21-year-old Scotland international, who is poised to be brought back into Alex McLeish’s squad for next month’s European ties, said: “We’re in a really good place at the minute.

“We’re enjoying some great form and our morale is high. In every game we play, we look to keep a clean sheet, but I think it’s especially important that we defend as a team and keep everything tight.”

Viewing this evening’s test against the Spanish aces, Burke added: “I’m looking forward to it. I know the Celtic fans thrive off these occasions and I’m really excited to experience it.

“We need to have quality on the ball, we need to take our time and go at the right times to break down the opposition and create chances.

“The players have been great with me, too.

“Scott Brown is a great character and a great guy, a big leader and he will always work his socks off. He’s the kind of guy who will put his arm round you and make sure you’re okay.

“My confidence right now is really high, I’m really happy with where I am with Celtic and we go into the Valencia game aiming to win.”

Burke is already a favourite with the Hoops fans and his blistering pace is helping shred opponents. He set up two goals on a plate for Scott Sinclair in the 5-0 Scottish Cup win over St Johnstone in Glasgow on Sunday.

And he has chipped in with a trio of goals, two against St Mirren in his second appearance and one in the 2-0 victory over Hibs last week.

Burke enjoyed the acclaim of the delighted home support – and is determined to stage an action replay this evening.

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Editor

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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