Team ‘spirit’ buoys Celtic for huge Barcelona test
Sinclair believes self-belief can help Rodgers’ men survive Camp Nou trip
SCOTT SINCLAIR last night revealed that Celtic’s players have the collective self-belief they need to get a result against Barcelona in the Nou Camp following their five-goal mauling of Rangers.
Sinclair netted for Brendan Rodgers’ team in the emphatic 5-1 victory over Mark Warburton’s side in the first Old Firm game of the 2016/17 campaign at Celtic Park on Saturday.
The winger believes the triumph was the prefect preparation for the Glasgow club’s opening Champions League group game against Barca in Spain tomorrow evening.
“The spirit is so high and so is the togetherness in the camp,” he said. “You can see it on the pitch with everyone fighting for each other. If we keep that spirit, we can keep winning games.
“The form we are in with wins, it’s great for spirit. We go to the Nou Camp with nothing to lose. No-one is expecting us to win 5-1, but we will just go there and do the best that we can do. We have got the belief to go there and try to perform. That is all that you can do. The spirit is what we need and all we can do is give it 100%.”
Sinclair added: “With the Rangers game, we hadn’t been thinking about Barcelona, but when it was finished, we started looking and the manager started adjusting and we go to the next one.
“The manager will decide how we are going to set-up, but it’s going to be a great occasion for us. We have nothing to lose, as I said.
“We go into games 100% every time and that’s all we can do in the Nou Camp.”
Sinclair and his Celtic team-mates will line up against some of the biggest names in world football in the Camp Nou – Lionel Messi, Neymar and Luis Suraez could all start the Group C match.
However, the £3.5 million signing stressed that he was relishing the opportunity to play against Barcelona and
was optimistic the Scottish champions could take something from the game. “I’ve never been there before,” he said. “It’s a first for me. The names don’t spook players. It’s a challenge because you are facing the world’s best. As players, you want that test and there is not really much better you can face.
“Each team has 11 players, so all we can do is try to complete our job and see what we can get from the match.”
Leigh Griffiths, who was ruled out of the game with Rangers at the weekend after failing to recover from a calf injury, will be unavailable for the Barcelona tie tomorrow night. However, Sinclair has total faith in Moussa Dembele, the 20-year-old French striker who became the first Celtic player in 50 years to score a hat-trick in a league game against Rangers, being able to cope with the occasion.
“Griff being out was tough, but Moussa has stepped into the team, scored a hat-trick and done a great job,” he said. “With the squad we have, it’s great. You can’t get much better than a hat-trick against Rangers.
“He is a young guy who is working on his game and he keeps producing. If he keeps scoring hat-tricks like that, anything can happen. You can see all of his attributes. He is big, he is strong and that’s what you need as a striker.”
THAT WINNING FEELING: Celtic’s Scott Sinclair celebrates his goal against Rangers on Saturday and is now relishing the Champions League trip to Barcelona.