Celtic ‘had to take action’ against Green Brigade

Celtic coach Johan Mjallby speaks to the media before the team depart for Catalunya. Picture: SNS
Celtic coach Johan Mjallby speaks to the media before the team depart for Catalunya. Picture: SNS
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CELTIC assistant manager Johan Mjallby insists the club had no option but to take action against the fans whose behaviour marred last Friday night’s win over Motherwell.

Smoke bombs and flares were also thrown during Celtic’s 5-0 Scottish Premiership win.

The Scottish Professional Football League described the scenes at Fir Park as “shameful” and promised an investigation once it receives its match delegate’s report.

Speaking at Glasgow airport before the flight to Spain for their final Champions League clash with Barcelona on Wednesday night, Mjallby said: “It is very unfortunate what happened and I don’t think it left the club with any other option but to suspend some fans.

“You don’t want to have mayhem, you can’t have this disruption inside sports grounds so we have to get together to support the club in the best way.

“It is a distraction I don’t like to see because I like to work with the players.

“The club has reacted in the best way.”

Skipper Scott Brown returns to the squad at the Nou Camp after missing the last three European games through suspension following a clash with Barca star Neymar at Parkhead, while fellow midfielder Nir Biton has served a one-game ban.

Mjallby said of Brown: “He hasn’t got a point to prove to us, he is one of our best players, he is very important and we have missed him a lot.

“But maybe for himself and the public, he can prove that he can play at this level.

“The target is to finish off this campaign on a good note.

“We are disappointed that we don’t have a chance of European football in the new year but it is a hard group and there is not much we can do now.

“It is a good chance to take on more experience at this level.”

Like Biton, forward Georgios Samaras also missed the trip to Motherwell with a virus but is fit again.

Tom Rogic (calf) and James Forrest (hamstring) along with Beram Kayal (foot) and Steven Mouyokolo (Achilles) remain out.

Defender Adam Matthews has returned to training following shoulder surgery and Mjallby said: “He has got a chance. He has been out for seven weeks and it is great to have him back in the squad but we have to see how he feels.

“It is a big ask to throw him in against Barcelona.”