Craig Gordon: Stefan Johansen's Champions League moment still haunts Celtic

Celtic Football Club Wide

The Bhoys have claimed a league and cup double this term - but not Champions League football.

The atmosphere when Celtic took on Inter Milan at Parkhead this February spoke volumes. This is a club, with its stadium alike, built for big European nights.

And it doesn't get bigger than Champions League football, which the Bhoys narrowly missed out on this season - having been knocked out of the qualifying rounds not once but, remarkably, twice.

There was one moment that defined their qualifying tie against Maribor and it still 'haunts' Celtic, goalkeeper Craig Gordon says, according to the Daily Record.

Indeed, when Stefan Johansen got in the way of team-mate Virgil van Dijk's header, it prevented a goal that would have sent the Bhoys into the Champions League proper.

Johansen went on to become Celtic's Player of the Year but the fine margins at play in Europe resonate deeply with Gordon.

He said: “We should have won the game against Maribor over the two legs. I remember our Player of the Year heading one off the line for them
 over there - and that would have been two away goals.

“It’s little things like that which can come back to haunt you. We almost did make it and we want to have a good shot at getting to the groups again."

Ahead of next season's attempt to repeat or better the double Celtic have claimed this season, as well as secure Champions League football, Gordon has also emphasised the need to strengthen the side in the transfer window.

Comings and goings are guaranteed, the 32-year-old says, and the most important thing is the Bhoys coming out of the window better than when they started it.

The goalkeeper added: “There are bound to be comings and goings in the summer. There always are at a club like this. If we can strengthen and get better, then it’s all going in the right direction."

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