Matthews doesn’t see any problems with the pair adjusting to the challenge of the Champions League, should Celtic qualify, praising the way the pair settled into life at the club following moves to Parkhead last winter.
“I thought Gary and Stuart dealt with both matches brilliantly to be honest. You would have thought they were European veterans with dozens of games at that level behind them,” he told the Glasgow Evening Times.
“They have done brilliantly since they have joined Celtic and playing against Inter Milan in the San Siro gave them invaluable experience of playing at a higher level in Europe.”
Settling in period is over
The settling in period for Mackay-Steven and Armstrong is over and they are now both under pressure to produce their best form once the full season gets underway for the Bhoys.
It was always going to be difficult for them to have a big impact at the club over the second half of last season, but they coped well given the extra pressure and responsibility which comes hand in hand with representing the Bhoys.
They have the experience of what big European nights are like at Celtic and what the criticism and scrutiny is like at the clubs, which should allow them to mentally prepare and improve over the next few months.
Champions League is a step up
The Champions League is a step up and arguably a different animal when compared alongside the Europa League.
The quality is generally higher and the atmospheres generally bigger on a match by match basis.
However, that shouldn’t be seen as a negative for the duo but something to embrace as they look to become better all-round Celtic players.