Beer-Sheva star admits Celtic Park intensity got to visitors

Maor Melikson, right, admitted he and his team-mates were not used to dealing with the pressure of playing inside Celtic Park. Picture: SNS
Maor Melikson, right, admitted he and his team-mates were not used to dealing with the pressure of playing inside Celtic Park. Picture: SNS
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Hapoel Beer-Sheva midfielder, and goalscorer on the night, Maor Melikson has admitted the away side were affected by the intense atmosphere inside Celtic Park.

The Israeli champions lost 5-2 in their Champions League play-off first leg encounter, giving them a mountain to climb in next week’s return match.

Beer-Sheva recently moved into their new ground, Turner Stadium. The recently built arena is more conducive to creating an intimidating home atmosphere after years of the club playing at Vasermil Stadium, which, in contrast, was an roofless bowl complete with running track separating fans from the pitch.

Melikson admits the Beer-Sheva players were not used to playing in such highly-charged surroundings as they experienced in Glasgow, though he stressed they should still have performed better on the night.

He said: “You have to praise Celtic. Their stadium is a very difficult place to play in. We didn’t play the way we can, but this happens sometimes.

“The atmosphere was intense and we’re not used to it, but I think if we put that to one side, we should have been better anyway.

“We will try our best in Israel, but it won’t be easy to turn that score around against such a good team. But we are playing in front of our crowd and we hope for the best.”

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