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Celtic's Dedryck Boyata admits to sleepless nights

Dedryck Boyata celebrates after scoring the second goal for Celtic

The Belgian refuses to contemplate another playoff exit for Celtic.

Dedryck Boyata celebrates after scoring the second goal for Celtic

Dedryck Boyata has admitted via The Glasgow Evening Times that Celtic's Champions League elimination 12 months ago left him with sleepless nights.

Celtic fell at the final hurdle in their bid to reach the Champions League group stages as Malmo knocked them out over two legs.

Dedryck Boyata celebrates with Tom Rogic after scoring the second goal for Celtic

Fast forward a year and the Hoops - now under Brendan Rodgers - can atone for their misgivings during Ronny Deila's reign and return among Europe's elite.

Rodgers's side host Israeli champions Hapoel Be’er-Sheva at Paradise tomorrow hoping to put one foot in the group stages, and Boyata personally reveals that the devastation of missing out last season caused him to endure "four or five" sleepless nights.

Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers

“The game on Wednesday is huge for us because the Champions League is a big goal for us. We are at the same stage as we reached last year when we were eliminated and that was really painful," he told The GET. "I don’t want to this to happen again. No-one wants it to happen.

"The pain we had, the feeling we had was so painful. It was the first time I had been in that position to qualify and I can tell you that I did not sleep for four or five days after the game against Malmo when we went out.

Celtic have been absent from the group phase of Europe's elite competition since 2013, when they finished bottom of a group comprising of Barcelona, AC Milan and Ajax.

The Bhoys might have preferred to contest the first leg away from home, just as they did in the previous two rounds.

The big reason Rodgers was hired was to re-establish Celtic in the Champions League, so an exit would not bode well for the Northern Irishman.

Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers talks to the media before the match

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