O'Neill targets Double as compensation

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The Independent Football

The Celtic manager, Martin O'Neill, is convinced his side are still going in the right direction despite falling at the quarter-final stage of the Uefa Cup, losing 3-1 on aggregate.

However, Celtic are still on course for the domestic double and will clinch the Scottish Premier League title with a win at Kilmarnock on Sunday.

There was understandable disappointment among the fans and squad that, after beating Barcelona in the previous round, they could not go all the way to a second successive final.

However, O'Neill is confident that they can build on this success and wants money for their Champions' League challenge next season.

"The club is definitely making decent strides forward," he said. "I know the players are not thinking about it but I am pretty pleased with their contribution over the last couple of seasons.

"With the efforts of the players, especially in the last week, I can never fault the team through lack of effort."

O'Neill will be looking for the cash to sign a suitable replacement for the departing striker Henrik Larsson.

The prolific Swede brings the curtain down on his seven years at Parkhead this summer and O'Neill regrets he could not give him a European send off with a final in Gothenburg and the treble.

"We're all upset that we are out of the Uefa Cup," he said. "But then you realise that it was Henrik's last European game for Celtic, and it was a bit of a disappointment that we couldn't get to Gothenburg for him."