Scott Sinclair's Celtic advice ahead of Champions League qualifier and pressure to win

Scott Sinclair picked up a treble-treble in three and a half years at Celtic – so he knows a thing or two about success in Glasgow.

Scott Sinclair in action for Preston during the friendly match between Celtic and Preston North End on July 17, 2021. (Photo by Rob Casey / SNS Group)
Scott Sinclair in action for Preston during the friendly match between Celtic and Preston North End on July 17, 2021. (Photo by Rob Casey / SNS Group)

Added to the winger’s impressive medal haul were multiple individual accolades before his move to Preston North End 18 months ago.

He returned to Celtic Park with his new club on Saturday but found many changes from the one he left in January 2020 – from chief executive through to manager, players and stands considerably emptier than usual. However one thing hasn’t changed in Glasgow – the desire for success and necessity to win.

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For Ange Postecoglou’s new side, much rests on the Champions League qualifier against FC Midtjylland after just four preparatory friendlies and a pre-season training camp in Wales and Sinclair had a few words of advice to those sampling Celtic for the first time. The pressure to defeat the Danes, he says, is not unusual.

Celtic captain Callum McGregor (L) with manager Ange Postecoglu. (Photo by Craig Williamson / SNS Group)

“The main thing is to win games here,” Sinclair said. “That’s the demand put on them and it will be no different on Tuesday. They have to find a way to win the game and I’m sure all the players will enjoy that pressure. But they’ve got to go out and show it.”

It’s not a scenario unique to European nights either. However the early fixtures provide a precursor to the expectations of life at Celtic, and in Glasgow.

“There is so much pressure to get through these ties and it’s not easy having to play them even before the league season has started. But there’s so much pressure being at Celtic full stop, not only in these games.

“The young players and the new signings that are coming to the club will learn quickly what this club is all about. They’ll soon understand what it’s like to have that pressure of having to win every game.

Sinclair enjoyed returning to a club where he has many fond memories. (Photo by Rob Casey / SNS Group)

"That’s what fuels you as a player. That achievement of playing for Celtic is massive. All the fans put that pressure on your head but it makes sure you go and perform.”

Sinclair believes the new-look Celtic can see off his old team-mate Erik Sviatchenko and Midtjylland, and he’s looking forward to seeing the new regime develop, despite a 1-0 reverse against his Lilywhites in the final warm-up game before the Postecoglou period kicks off competitively.

“I don’t worry for them because they’ve still got good players in their squad. When they do their best and show up they can still be a very good team,” Sinclair said.

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He added: “It’s a time of massive transition. Not just on the playing front, where there are a lot of changes, but right the way through the club. I just wish them the best. I’m like a fan now as well, I’m always checking the scores and how they’re doing.

“I’m hoping that sooner rather than later they’ll come through this and get back to being champions again.

“I achieved so much with the team, picking up all the silverware and winning awards – I’ll never forget that time. There are just so many great memories.

“When you do have that kind of history with a club, there’s nothing better than coming back, and I really enjoyed it.”

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