Matthews ready for Euro test

Hoops defender looking forward to Champions League qualifier

Adam Matthews: Believes Celtic have improved as their pre-season programme has progressed

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Adam Matthews claims Celtic can take plenty of positives from their pre-season performances into a crucial UEFA Champions League qualifier.

Results for Neil Lennon's side in recent weeks have been mixed to say the least, with only one win taken from six friendly outings.

A 4-0 thumping by Dutch giants Ajax and a 1-0 defeat to Norwich City at Parkhead have posed as many questions as they have offered answers.

Celtic must, however, look to raise their game on Wednesday when they face Finnish side HJK Helsinki in Europe's premier club competition.

Matthews believes the Hoops are in good shape, with a 1-1 draw with Serie A heavyweights Inter Milan on Saturday suggesting that things are coming together at just the right time.

"We haven't done ourselves justice this pre-season performance-wise," said the Welsh full-back.


"Ajax was an eye-opener for us. I think that is where we want to be and we showed we have improved since.

"But yesterday (against inter) I think it all came together. I think everyone played their best game of the pre-season so it is a good sign for us."

On the continental clash awaiting the Hoops in midweek, Matthews added: "You always have pressure at a club like Celtic.

"I think it will be massive for the club if we can get through to the Champions League.

"But we know it's going to be a tough game so we have to be at 100 per cent and we are looking forward to it."