Wilson can't wait for Juventus

  • Last Updated: February 7 2013, 19:22 GMT

Kelvin Wilson hopes to reach a new level in his Celtic career when he takes to the Parkhead pitch against Juventus next Tuesday night.

Kelvin Wilson: Looking forward to Juventus

In the aftermath of the Hoops' stunning 2-1 home Champions League win over Barcelona last November, the Celtic defender claimed the momentous occasion vindicated his decision to move from Nottingham Forest in the summer of 2011.

That famous win helped Neil Lennon's side to second place in Group G behind Barca and they were rewarded with a lucrative and keenly-awaited tie against the Italian champions.

Wilson admits victory over Juventus and further progress in the competition would eclipse even the Catalan conquest.

"Without a doubt, if that happens," he said.

"It is a different situation. Obviously we needed to win to get the points but this is a knockout situation, so it would be great if we achieve it.

"This game in the Champions League is a massive one, the biggest in a lot of players' careers, myself included.

"They are two different teams. Juve are a bit more direct, Barca like to keep the ball more and in the context of it being the last-16 so they will want to get there really bad and so are we, so it will be a good tie.

"Juventus are an experienced side with world-class players.

"I respect them for what they have done and the players they are but I think you get on with your own game and concentrate on that.

"We are not there to make the numbers up or to say 'I played in that game', we want to try to achieve something.

"Looking back at the Barcelona game and thinking about how that made you feel and you are playing against some of the best players in the world so obviously you will have a spring in your step (next week)."

First, Celtic have to negotiate a trip to Inverness and Wilson, speaking in Glasgow where he was helping to publicise ESPN's coverage of the Clydesdale Bank Premier League, insists the Parkhead men will be professional in their approach.

"That is the first game that's coming and you have two or three days after that to think about the Juve game," he said.

"It is just as important to us because the league is what got us to where we are now so we won't take that lightly.

"You have to be professional about it, be respectful and get on with your job.

"They are a tough side, especially at home, so it will be a tough game."

Celtic could be without stopper Efe Ambrose for the Juventus match as a result of Nigeria's progression to the Africa Nations Cup final which takes place on Sunday.

Wilson believes his defensive partner would be keen to step right back into a Hoops shirt, if possible.

He said: "It is down to the gaffer but I would think Efe would want to do it because it is a massive game and what footballer wouldn't? If he didn't then maybe he shouldn't be playing football.

"I can't say if it is physically possible but Efe is not overweight or unfit so I wouldn't see why not. But it is down to the gaffer."

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