Douglas looks forward to quiet night at home

Click to follow
The Independent Football

The Celtic goalkeeper, Robert Douglas, will be hoping for an easier ride when the Scottish champions entertain Valencia tonight.

Douglas prevented his side from returning home from Valencia with a far heavier deficit than the 1-0 defeat inflicted by the Spanish side.

His Celtic team-mates hailed the keeper's display as inspirational and striker John Hartson admitted: "If it had not been for Robert, then we would have lost five or six goals – he was amazing."

Such is Celtic's strength domestically – they remain unbeaten in the Scottish Premier League this season – that Douglas has conceded only five goals in the league.

"You don't get many chances to play like that when you are a goalkeeper with Celtic," Douglas said of his one-man show at the Mestalla. "Normally, it is the other keeper. It was like the Alamo in Valencia but those are the kind of games keepers love. Hopefully, I will have less work on Thursday."

Martin O'Neill, the Celtic manager, compares Douglas – whom he bought from Dundee in November 2000 for £1.5m – to Peter Shilton, who was O'Neill's colleague when Nottingham Forest won the European Cup in 1979 and 1980.

"Like Shilton, when Robert is confident he is formidable. It took something special [from Vicente] to beat him," said O'Neill. "The atmosphere against Juventus was something else. The game was a great moment to behold and if we are even half as good on Thursday, it will be something special."

O'Neill's main selection problem is whether to retain Hartson – who scored twice against Hibernian on Saturday – or bring back his fellow striker Chris Sutton, who missed the first leg and the derby win over Rangers because of his son's poor health.