Scott Brown wants to give fans the Champions League football they deserve
Scott Brown knows Celtic fans want to enjoy Champions League trips as they prepare for the first leg of their third qualifier against AEK Athens at Parkhead on Wednesday night.
Brendan Rodgers’ side have to go through four qualifying ties this year to get to the group stages of the competition for the third successive year.
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The Scottish champions have already dispensed with Armenian side Alashkert and Norwegian team Rosenborg in the competition.
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But now Brown is looking forward to the next challenge, hoping it will take Celtic into the group stages once again for this season.
The 33-year-old midfielder said: “It doesn’t matter who we get in this stage. To get through an extra round would be special for us.
Celtic v AEK Athens preview
“It’s great for our fans as well. They want to be in the Champions League. They want trips away and see us playing against quality teams.
“They’re going to get that chance going to Athens, seeing us play against a quality team. Champions League nights are special occasions. Whether it’s the qualifier or if you get into the groups.
“We want to make it as special as possible and make Celtic Park a fortress as we have done over the last couple of years.”
The Celtic captain admits this time of the season, where pressure is on to progress in the Champions League, has become increasingly fraught.
He added: “It gets harder every year. The nerves build up before the game but as soon as you stand on that pitch the nerves go and you’ve got to relax and put faith in your teammates and try and control the game.
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“It’s huge for the club. We want to play Champions League football. It’s a lot of money for the club and when I first signed that’s the quality I wanted to play against.
“The money situation is huge and it’s went up as well. The quality and teams are getting harder and we’re getting more qualifiers.
“We’ve come back in good nick, looked good in games so far so hopefully we can kick on.”
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