John Collins feels Celtic are better prepared for Champions League this year

Celtic Stands

Celtic fell at the play-off stage last year and will be looking to go one better this time around.

Celtic’s pursuit of Champions League football is arguably the club’s biggest priority each season and failure to make the group stages is a damaging blow whenever it occurs.

Last season was one such occasion, with Malmo FF the victors as Celtic stumbled at the last hurdle.

The club are gearing up to go at it again this year, entering at the second round qualifying stage against Iceland’s FC Stjarnan on July 14th, and assistant manager John Collins feels The Bhoys are better equipped this year.

"We were all hopeful to get into the Champions League last year but the reality was we weren’t good enough,” Collins said at a Celtic presser, as posted on the club's official Twitter account.

“I think we're ahead of the game in comparison to last year. I believe we're well ahead of where we were.”

The former Celt cites the increased squad depth as a reason for the improvement and suggests there may still be more incomings.

“We’re looking at players and there is a possibility but I’ll stress that we’ve got a great squad," he added.

Celtic have been linked with a host of targets in recent weeks as they seek a return to Europe’s premier competition, with the Daily Record reporting striking target Jelle Vossen is due to make a decision on his future in the coming days.

Already on the books is Dedryck Boyata, whose arrival is seen as something of a coup at Celtic. The former Manchester City defender failed to make the grade at The Etihad but has all the tools to be a success north of the border.

With two weeks until the qualifying campaign kicks off, Hoops fans will be hopeful of further arrivals as Ronny Deila bids for European success at the second time of asking.

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