Gary Mackay-Steven confident despite tricky challenge facing Celtic

Celtic midfielder Gary Mackay-Steven has commented on the challenge of the club having a competitive game so early in pre-season.

Celtic midfielder Gary Mackay-Steven has explained to the Glasgow Evening Times that it’s difficult for the Bhoys to be playing competitive matches so early in their season.

Celtic take on Stjarnan in the Champions League qualifying round this evening, as they look to fight their way into the group stage of the competition.

It’s testing for the club because the squad hasn’t had a great deal of time to gel with new signings, but Mackay-Steven has explained that everything the club has been doing, has been aimed towards the match later on.

“I think every player wants to test themselves at that level - It is hard because they are more or less the first competitive games of the season for us,” he told the Glasgow Evening Times.

“But we have all spent the summer adhering to our training programme for the club and physically I think we are in good shape and ready for them.”

The result is all the matters

At this stage of early season, it’s going to be difficult for Celtic to produce their very best performance because the squad and the manager haven’t spent a great deal of time together.

What matters is that Celtic just find a way to get themselves over the line with the right result, which gives them a springboard ahead of more serious matches to come over the next couple of months.

A good result by any means will also be important because of the importance in the side developing an effective winning mentality, which will improve momentum and confidence.

A big match for key players

It’s a big match for Celtic’s key players, with pressure on someone like Scott Brown, who has a big responsibility to ensure that no one is flagging, relaying instructions to his boss based on what he sees and what he can sense in the game this evening in terms of players who may be feeling the effects of an early competitive game.

FIFA World Cup 2018FIFA 2018 World Cup Russia - click here for all of our coverage...

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch