Caldwell sets Celtic challenge

Defender hopeful of overcoming away-day hoodoo

Caldwell: Unfazed by Russian trip

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Gary Caldwell has thrown down the gauntlet to his Celtic team-mates to overcome their fatigue concerns and clinch a place in the UEFA Champions League group phase.

The Bhoys lost 1-0 at home to Dinamo Moscow on Wednesday before being beaten 2-1 in a friendly with Sunderland at Celtic Park on Saturday.

Before the game, manager Tony Mowbray expressed his concerns that tiredness was having an impact on his squad following pre-season trips to Australia, Wales and England.

Celtic now face a trip to Russia for Wednesday's return leg against Dinamo but defender Caldwell believes the team should be strong enough to take it in their stride.

"As footballers you have to get on with it and deal with it," he said.

"We have played a lot of games and done a lot of travelling and last Wednesday night was a tough game.

Intense

"The intensity of that game and having it so early makes it more difficult to recover from.

"But we have to be better than that and rise above the challenge of being tired."

Celtic have never won a European tie after losing the first leg at home and their last victory on foreign soil came six years ago, when they beat MTK Hungaria 4-0 in a Champions League qualifier in Budapest.

The Bhoys have a 1-0 deficit to make up and Caldwell is confident of claiming a long-overdue away win.

"I think we can score twice over there," he added. "We could have scored three or four in the first game.

Balance

"But we have to get the balance right, we have to make sure we don't get caught on the break.

"There's no use scoring two if we lose two or three, because we will still be out.

"We have to be disciplined in our play and not throw too many players forward early on, and see if we can create chances with the forwards that we have got.

"But I'm sure we have enough in our team to hurt them and break them down and I'm pretty sure we can go through."