Lustig: Bhoys won't go gung-ho

  • Last Updated: March 4 2013, 18:22 GMT

Mikael Lustig has warned his Celtic team-mates they cannot afford to go all out attack as they try to overturn Juventus' Champions League lead.

Mikael Lustig: Wary of Juventus threat

The Hoops travel to Turin on Tuesday with only the faintest hopes of stunning the Old Lady in Wednesday's last-16 second leg following their 3-0 defeat in Glasgow last month.

But Lustig, who will remain behind in Scotland alongside captain Scott Brown after both picked up injuries, realises a gung-ho approach will only see the Clydesdale Bank Premier League champions cut open again.

Celtic conceded early in the first leg as Alessandro Matri pounced and were then hit with two late sucker-punches when Claudio Marchisio and Mirko Vucinic both struck as Neil Lennon's men desperately sought a goal to take with them to Italy.

Having learned that harsh lesson, Lustig believes the manager will have to remain cautious - even given Juve's commanding lead.

He said: "We need to try to go forward and score some goals, but if we are too open in how we think, then Juventus are a really good team and will have a really good chance to score.

"So we will need to take it a little bit easy."

Meanwhile, former Celtic assistant manager John Robertson reckons Celtic can be proud of the work they have done on the continent this year.

Martin O'Neill's former right-hand man has been impressed with a set of performances that included the club's first-ever away win in the Champions League group stages against Spartak Moscow and that famous Parkhead victory over Barcelona.

Now he is refusing to count out the chances of a third remarkable result.

Robertson said: "Getting to the last 16 was an incredible achievement because, in my opinion, the Barcelona team are the greatest that has ever been.

"So, for Celtic to overcome them - and nearly get something in Barcelona too - was fantastic. A fabulous achievement.

"When the draw was made and they got Spartak Moscow, Benfica and Barcelona, a lot of people might have thought they wouldn't have had a hope.

"But to come through it is incredible.

"Their escapades in Europe have really brought the club to the forefront again. People must have looked at that Barcelona result and thought, 'Well that Celtic must be a decent team'.

"You don't beat Barcelona unless you are a very decent team.

"Can a miracle happen in Turin? Realistically, everybody will tell you no. Not many teams come back from there with a result.

"But until the tie is over, there has to be hope. Why can't we go over there and get a result?"

Robertson was O'Neill's assistant when the Northern Irishman lured compatriot Lennon north of the border in a £5.75million switch from Leicester in December 2000.

It was during that time that he first saw the leadership qualities in the midfielder that have allowed him to become one of the most highly-rated young bosses in the game.

He said: "Neil has always been an intelligent lad and as a footballer, he was a very, very intelligent player too.

"He spoke well and knew the game, so it was no surprise to me that he would go on and become a manager.

"He came in at a difficult time when he had no experience of being a manager but has really grown into that role." Robertson, however, believes Lennon will prove himself be a different kind of coach to O'Neill.

"I've not seen Neil work as a manager but I'm sure some of the principles of the game he will taken from Martin, just as he would have taken from Dario Gradi and Gordon Strachan.

"Ask Martin O'Neill if he was another clone of Brian Clough and he will tell you that you can only be yourself.

"It's impossible to try and copy someone else so just be yourself, and Neil is doing wonderfully well doing just that."

Robertson was at Hampden on Sunday to help conduct the draw for the William Hill Scottish Cup semi-finals.

Celtic were paired with Dundee United and will meet at Hampden on either April 13 or 14.

But the retired European Cup-winning winger does not believe the Hoops would have had it any easier had they been drawn against either of the other sides in the last four - SPL rivals Hibernian and Irn-Bru First Division outfit Falkirk.

"When you get down to the semi-final, every game is going to be difficult because when you are there, you are going to do your damnedest to get to the final," he said.

"So I don't think are any ties in particular that do Celtic a favour."

Lustig added: "It's a tough draw. Dundee United are a very good team but, if you want to win the cup, you have to beat the team in front of you.

"Winning the cup would mean a lot. Hopefully the final will be our last game of the season and we can make something good out of that."


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