Craig Gordon thinks Celtic will be fine without their fans at Linfield game

Craig Gordon thinks Celtic will be fine without their fans at Linfield game

Craig Gordon believes Celtic will retain their Champions League focus even if their fans are absent against Linfield at Windsor Park.

The Parkhead club declined tickets for the first leg of the second qualifier in Belfast amid security concerns.

The match was moved to Friday evening instead of July 11-12 as initially planned so it did not clash with Orange Order parades.

However, Gordon insists the Scottish treble-winners will look to take the first step towards European football's premier club competition regardless of whether or not they have any backing.

The Scotland keeper said: "I don't think it will make that much difference. We will be fully focused on the job we have to do on the pitch, and whatever goes on in the stands, we will not be focusing on that and we will go out and play the game to try and win and get an advantage to take into the second-leg.

"We know what we have to do here. We are fully focused and very well prepared to go and do that.

"Whatever happens we have to go out there and play our game. We have prepared really well for this, we have looked good in training and we will have the second-leg at home in front of 60,000, so we know we will be backed when we get back to Celtic Park.

"We are looking to win the game. It's two legs so we don't want to be going for it too much.

"We will look to win the game as we do in every game, whether it's home or away against anybody and we will see as the game goes on."

Windsor Park will be less than half-full for the visit of Brendan Rodgers' side but boss of the Northern Irish champions, David Healy, a former Rangers striker, had a message for the home fans.

"Enjoy the game, enjoy the occasion,." he said.

"It might be the only chance the fans get to see Celtic. So enjoy it, embrace it, do it the proper Linfield way.

"Linfield over the years have made great strides on and off the pitch so they should enjoy it.

"I would urge the fans, be patient, get behind the players and hopefully these guys will do us proud."


More in this Section

Talking points ahead of Ireland’s Euro 2020 qualifier in SwitzerlandTalking points ahead of Ireland’s Euro 2020 qualifier in Switzerland

Mick McCarthy claims the pressure is all on SwitzerlandMick McCarthy claims the pressure is all on Switzerland

All Blacks were all smiles, selfies, jokes and big laughs. Until nowAll Blacks were all smiles, selfies, jokes and big laughs. Until now

Roberto Moreno urges Spain to win final three Euro 2020 qualifiersRoberto Moreno urges Spain to win final three Euro 2020 qualifiers


Lifestyle

Fiann Ó Nualláin follows in the footsteps of the Fianna as he explores a province’s hills and vales.Munster marvels: Plants that are unique to a province

Cupid must be something of a motoring enthusiast, as he had most definitely steered his way in the neighbourhood when Amie Gould and Shane O’Neill met at the Rally of the Lakes 12 years ago.Wedding of the Week: Cupid steers couple to right track

When it comes to podcasting, all it takes is one idea — and who knows where it can take you.Podcast Corner: Crimes and creatures rule at Cork’s first podcast fest

Claymation meets science fiction in this enchanting film, writes Esther McCarthy.Latest Shaun adventure is out of this world

More From The Irish Examiner