Celtic bounced from Champions League by AEK Athens Benfica reach playoffs

Celtic bounced from Champions League by AEK Athens Benfica reach playoffs

Celtic bounced from Champions League by AEK Athens Benfica reach playoffs

Celtic face a play-off to reach the group stage of Europe's second-tier club competition after they were knocked out of the Champions League by AEK Athens last night.

The 27-year-old former Manchester City man had been the subject of a £9M bid from the newly-promoted Premier League side Fulham towards the end of the English transfer window but the move did not materialise before the August 9 deadline.

Lichtenstein also said: "Entering the last 10 months of his contract, everyone understands that he can not put his career at risk by playing even slightly injured or at 95 per cent. Dedryck can not put his future and his family's future in danger by playing without being 100 per cent".

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"I still felt this was a game in which we had more than enough to win but you have to defend better than we did". He is a player that we would have loved to have here with us. He has been with us on the journey now for a couple of years and helped us get to this position and of course, someone of his quality, a World Cup semi-finalist in our team, would certainly would have helped.

"We have to put the faith in the squad of players that want to be here and want to fight for the result and that's my focus, really - on the players that we have".

Brendan Rodgers' side headed to Greece knowing that they were up against it in the tie, with AEK Athens having managed to clinch a 1-1 draw in the first leg, netting a vital away goal in the process.

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He said: "It is an internal matter now".

"We are not getting opened up and fantastic goals scored against us, it is concentration and basic defending".

"That's my only consideration at the moment".

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