Jeremy Toljan says Celtic can pull off miracle in the Mestalla

Celtic full-back Jeremy Toljan insists that Brendan Rodgers’ side can pull off one of the biggest shocks of the season by overturning the 2-0 defeat by Valencia at Parkhead last week when they re-engage with the Spaniards at the Mestalla Stadium tomorrow night.

Jeremy Toljan believes Celtic can overturn a 2-0 deficit against Valencia. Picture: SNS

Toljan, on loan from Borussia Dortmund, respects the opposition but was not blown away by them and claims that the Premiership champions are more than capable of upsetting the odds and progressing to the last 16 of the Europa League.

However, he accepts that Celtic must score first – and as early as possible – in order for that outcome to be achieved.

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“We started the first leg very well but if you make basic mistakes at this level then it can cost you,” he said. “In Spain we need to cut out the errors and also improve our play.

“It wasn’t the result that we wanted. We were up against a strong side but we can play a little better and achieve a better result over there.

“I genuinely believe that we can score against them and, with a little bit of luck, we can turn the tables on them. Our game plan was fine last week and we were very good for the opening 20 minutes and we could even have opened the scoring.

“Like I say, though, mistakes against a side as good as they were will cost you. Even though it was an open game but they didn’t cut us open or have many chances.

“However, if we score first at the Mestalla then we will see what that does.

“If we can do that then maybe that will affect them mentally and they will start to think about what might happen next because you never know in football. We will go there in a positive frame of mind and try to win.

“They might think that they are already through to the next round but we can maybe get inside their heads with a good start.”

Toljan is convinced that Rodgers possesses sufficient firepower to overturn the two-goal deficit, even though Celtic have never previously recovered from such a position on foreign soil.

“We have forwards like James Forrest, Oliver Burke and Scott Sinclair, who are very quick and they are also good players,” said the German. “They have also proved that they can score goals so I just hope that we can create the opportunities for them on Thursday.

“It will be my first time in that stadium and it would be a big result if we could somehow could go through. As we say in Germany, hope never dies so we’ll go there with the right attitude and try to beat them. Miracles happen.”

Last week was Toljan’s first experience of the raucous ambience at Parkhead on a big European night and he is optimistic that it will not be his last.

“I enjoyed the atmosphere before the game – it was really good,” said the 24-year-old. “Celtic Park and [Dortmund’s] Westfalion are both at the highest level when it comes to that.

“Playing Europa League football was a big attraction for me when I came here. The competition has many top-quality teams in it and it was a big reason for me joining Celtic.”