Stuart Armstrong can’t wait for Inter v Celtic

Stuart Armstrong is eagerly anticipating his side's clash with Inter. Picture: SNS

Stuart Armstrong is eagerly anticipating his side's clash with Inter. Picture: SNS

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STUART Armstrong has been a Celtic player for less than two weeks but is already within touching distance of a dream appearance at the San Siro.

The 22-year-old midfielder made a scoring debut against Partick in the 3-0 Scottish Premiership win at Firhill on Wednesday night, as did Gary Mackay-Steven who arrived with him at Parkhead from Dundee United on transfer deadline day.

The Hoops will look to cement their place at the top of the Scottish Premiership against St Johnstone at McDiarmid Park on Saturday - they lead Aberdeen by three points and have a game in hand over the Dons - before their Europa League campaign resumes.

Inter Milan will visit Celtic Park in the first-leg of their last-32 clash next Thursday night, with a trip to Italy the following week, a prospect which enthuses Armstrong.

“I can’t wait,” said the former Scotland Under-21 player.

“European competitions are something everyone dreams of playing in, so to have a chance to be a part of that next week is fantastic and to go over to stadiums like the San Siro...it’s where everyone wants to play.

“The only stadium that maybe comes close was Dynamo Moscow, playing for Dundee United, but it was a 5-0 thrashing for us so it’s not good memories there.

“Every player wants to play in big stadiums, it is something everyone looks forward to and to be part of it is great.”

Armstrong’s home debut will be at a sold-out Celtic Park, although he recalled a 47,000-plus crowd at the same venue in last season’s William Hill Scottish Cup final when he was part of the United team which lost 2-0 to St Johnstone.

He said “It will be a bit different to what I’m used to but it is all a learning curve and to have that experience will be worth a lot in the future.

Celtic sign Stuart Armstrong & Gary Mackay-Steven

“Probably the biggest crowd I have played in front of was at the Scottish Cup final last year, at Parkhead funnily enough.

“It is something that will always be remembered. I learned a lot of things from that game and try to view it as a positive rather than a negative but it will always be there.

“I don’t think I will have played in front of a crowd that is expected against Inter Milan.

“It is a great arena to be in, the noise levels are incredible and it is exciting for any player.”

However, despite making such a positive impact on his debut, Armstrong is not taking his place for granted.

“It is a very versatile squad with a lot of versatile players,” he said.

“Everyone has been fantastic; their professionalism, their work ethic, the way they put everything into every single day.

“The quality in every position is higher (than United).

“The manager wants to press and harass teams. You dominate possession which is great for attacking players.

“It is a bit different from what I’m used to but it is great and I will only become a better player for it.”

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