‘We just didn’t turn up’ says Celtic’s Johansen

Stefan Johansen is restrained after clashing with Fenerbahce's Diego, far right. Picture: SNS
Stefan Johansen is restrained after clashing with Fenerbahce's Diego, far right. Picture: SNS
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Stefan Johansen surveyed Celtic’s doomed Europa League campaign and concluded that the Parkhead side were simply not good enough.

A creditable 1-1 draw against Fenerbahce in Istanbul on Thursday night left the Hoops with just three points from six Group A fixtures.

Johansen, doubtful for the trip to St Johnstone tomorrow after suffering an “unnecessary” kick from Diego after the break, which brought the Brazilian midfielder a red card, was in no mood to sugarcoat the campaign – although he remains confident that Celtic can improve in Europe following more experience.

He said: “We need to be honest and just say that we haven’t been good enough this year.

“We have struggled. We were close to getting into the Champions League but we didn’t make that. We had a tough Europa League group of course, we need to say that. But even if it is the Europa League and the fans expect Champions League, we wanted to go out there and give them what they earn, good European nights.

“I think we have the quality but this year we haven’t shown up when the big games were there for us. I know the fans expect more and us players expect much more also. But this year we didn’t manage it and we need to learn from it.”

St Johnstone boss Tommy Wright does not anticipate Celtic’s European travels posing problems for Ronny Deila and the reigning champions tomorrow.

The Saints boss said: “Celtic’s campaign was over before the 1-1 draw with Fenerbahce so they have had time to get their heads round it.

“I thought they put in a decent performance. No doubt Ronny and his squad will be disappointed to be out of Europe but they are still chasing a Treble in Scotland.”

Wright has challenged his players not to let their standards drop in the countdown to the crucial festive campaign, with Hearts set to visit Perth hard on the heels of Celtic.

With 35 goals netted already - overtaking their league total for the whole of last season – fourth-placed Saints are on the coat-tails of Hearts and Aberdeen.

And Wright stressed they will not be retreating into a defensive shell against Celtic.

“We haven’t tried to shut up shop playing against the better teams at home,” he said.

“There is still an expectation from our fans to have a go. It might be different going to Celtic Park but at home it is different.”

Wright has been boosted by news that experienced defender Steven Anderson has been given the green light to return after missing last week’s win at Ross County with an ankle gash.