Football News

Conte respectful of Celtic

Created on 20 Dec., 2012 8:43 PM GMT

Juventus coach Antonio Conte says his team will treat Celtic with respect in the last 16 of the Champions League.

The Scottish giants were victorious last time the two clubs met – in a 4-3 home victory in the group stages of the competition in 2001, a game which Celtic manager Neil Lennon played in.

Conte is aware his players are in for a tough game as Celtic have already pulled off impressive performances in Europe this season.

"We have to consider our path in the Champions League as a process, to grow and improve as a team," Conte told the UEFA website.

"Celtic are a good side. They defeated Barcelona in the group stage and qualified from a section which also included strong teams like Benfica and Spartak (Moscow).

"They have good players, like (Georgios) Samaras and (Kris) Commons. We will approach this game with great enthusiasm but also respect for the Scottish side.

"We want to do as well as possible in the Champions League and will have to give our all."

Another man to play in the last meeting between the two sides, Pavel Nedved, also spoke about the tie.

"It could be worse, even if Celtic are a team to respect," the 40-year-old Juventus director said.

"They defeated Barcelona in the group stage and fully deserved to qualify. I have played there (at Celtic Park) in the past and can guarantee we will encounter a great atmosphere.

"In the knockout stages, experience is very important and I hope our players take on Celtic with great determination. Playing the return leg at home is surely a small advantage."

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