Football: Boyd views rewards beyond first hurdle
Wednesday 26 August 1998
After a 1-0 home win a fortnight ago through Darren Jackson's goal, Celtic are 90 minutes away from joining Europe's elite. That would rank as an achievement in itself according to Boyd, who believes being part of the Champions' League is the key to restoring the Scots' diminished reputation overseas.
This season has seen the launch of the new Scottish Premier League, but domestic rewards cannot compare in scale to victories over Europe's finest.
At this stage last season Newcastle deprived Zagreb of qualification, and now at the Maksimir Stadium the Croatians are determined to overturn that setback.
However, as Boyd stresses, Celtic's own motivation stands comparisons as they aim to redress the recent failings of Rangers in the same competition. He said: "Just to make the Champions' League, that is you in with the best. We have had a lot of disappointing results in Europe recently and no Scottish club has really gone too far. But we know if we can get a result in this one game, we are then guaranteed at least six matches against quality opposition."
Boyd knows how Celtic approach this return leg will be crucial. An away goal scored first would leave Zagreb needing three to win, and yet while the match remains goalless the emphasis will be on the trailing home side to be the more positive.
Celtic's main injury concerns are Jackie McNamara and Morten Wieghorst. That Wieghorst missed Saturday's 2-1 win over Dundee United effectively rules the Dane out, as his last game was in pre-season against Kilmarnock when he sustained a knee problem.
Jozef Venglos, the head coach, is more optimistic about McNamara, who will be given maximum recovery time because of his importance to the game plan. He said: "There is so little between the teams that one man playing or not playing could be the vital difference, but only those 100 per cent fit can be considered."
Latest in Sport
Liverpool transfer news and rumours: Xabi Alonso to be quizzed before £18m Asier Illarramendi bid; Battle on for Rickie Lambert
Transfer news and rumours LIVE: Juan Cuadrado to Chelsea, Cristiano Ronaldo to Manchester City, United want Gareth Bale
Arsenal 5 Aston Villa 0 player ratings: Mesut Ozil or Santi Cazorla? Who stole the show at the Emirates Stadium?
Chelsea vs Manchester City player ratings: David Silva saves the day but which City star stole the show at Stamford Bridge?
Kim Sears 'swearing' outburst threatens to overshadow Andy Murray's Australian Open semi-final win
- 1 Three-year-old boy shoots pregnant mother and father in New Mexico
- 2 Stephen Fry explains what he would say if he was 'confronted by God'
Stephen Fry explains what he would say if he was 'confronted by God'
The open loathing between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu just got worse
9 reasons Greece's experiment with the radical left is doomed to failure
President Putin is a dangerous psychopath - reason is not going to work with him
Have we reached 'peak food'? Shortages loom as global production rates slow
Britain's widening poverty gap should be causing outrage at the start of the election campaign
Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: PMLD Teacher A specialist primary school i...
£15000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Now our rapidly expanding and A...
£15000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you passionate about great ...
£20000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This fast growing reinforcing s...