Agathe ‘100% cer­tain’ Hoops will go through

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has just com­pleted his Uefa ‘A’ coach­ing badge and is look­ing for a re­turn to the UK.

“You do not go through a sea­son where you win the Tre­ble and are un­beaten by any­one do­mes­ti­cally and sud­denly lose all con­fi­dence.

“Peo­ple talk about fight­ing spirit and hav­ing the courage to go and get big re­sults away from home, but that spirit comes from be­lief.

“It comes from know­ing what you are ca­pa­ble of do­ing on the foot­ball pitch.

“That comes from the ex­pe­ri­ence of hav­ing won games, of hav­ing grown to­gether as a team. Celtic can call on that from last sea­son.

“They have not lost their way be­cause they didn’t turn it on for just one game – a game at the very be­gin­ning of their cam­paign.

“I am cer­tain they will go through on Wed­nes­day night. They are a team who can play with pres­sure.

“They can trust one another and they know for sure that they can trust their man­ager.

“When you put that to­gether it makes you a very strong team.”

Agathe was part of Martin O’Neill’s Tre­blewin­ning side who then went on to take the club into the group stages of the Cham­pi­ons League for the first time.

It was the be­gin­ning of a sig­nif­i­cant Euro­pean spell for the club with some iconic evening u un­der the flood­lights at Celtic Park against Europe’s most pres­ti­gious names.

But while Agathe and his team-mates strug­gled away from home for form and points in the Cham­pi­ons League, in 2003 when they em­barked on a Uefa Cup run af­ter ex­it­ing the qual­i­fy­ing stages of the Cham­pi­ons League to Basel, they turned that on its head.

Like last week, they f found them­selves writ­ten o off af­ter a se­ries of first leg draws at Celtic Park against Liver­pool and Boav­ista, their fate made all the tougher by the con­ces­sion of goals on h home soil.

Some of Agathe’s f favoured mem­o­ries came on the road that term with the per­for­mance at Ewood Park spring­ing to mind.

“The thing with Martin was that he would make you feel ten feet tall be­fore you walked onto the pitch,” said Agathe.

“For a player like me who had come to Celtic with­out know­ing much about the club, I knew the story of Celtic very quickly.

“He would tell us that we were special play­ers play­ing for a special club.

“He would talk about peo­ple pay­ing money to come and watch us, peo­ple want­ing to see us play­ing foot­ball a cer­tain way.

“He would tell us that we were able to give them that. He made you feel that you were the per­son to go out and do that.

“I think Bren­dan Rodgers might work a dif­fer­ent way.

“Martin was a man­ager and Bren­dan I think is a coach who likes to get on to the train­ing ground but what I think they both have in com­mon in that they un­der­stand peo­ple.

“We are foot­ballers but we are not ro­bots. We are hu­mans and we all have our own ways of re­spond­ing to sit­u­a­tions. Both of them know how to get the best out of the play­ers they have.

“They know how to get them to re­spond.

“I re­mem­ber that we had been writ­ten off so many times. Go­ing to Black­burn we had a 1-0 lead, but ev­ery­one as­sumed that we would lose in Eng­land.

“But as a team we be­lieved and that is where ev­ery­thing stems from.”

Rodgers and O’Neill have dif­fer­ent styles

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