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De Vries: Barcelona battering is still a sore point

The Celtic goalkeeper is keen to show what he can do now he's back in the first team.

Chance: De Vries is back in action.
Chance: De Vries is back in action. SNS Group

Celtic goalkeeper Dorus de Vries admits he's still haunted by the memory of the 7-0 defeat to Barcelona but is relishing his chance to show his quality in the first team.

The Dutchman has been handed a first team opportunity by the injury that will sideline Craig Gordon until the end of April, meaning he'll start against Zenit St Petersburg in the Europa League knockout round next week.

De Vries' only previous European appearance for Celtic came in the 7-0 defeat to Barcelona in the Champions League and he says he's still not over that difficult night.

"I think that will take a couple of years to heal up, that one, because I am a winner, I want to win," he said.

"My daily routine is to make sure I perform every single day.

"That's how I approach my job and it is still the sorest point in terms of I hate losing, I can't stand it.

"It doesn't matter whether it is Barcelona or Partick Thistle, you want to win. Simple.

"It was a disappointing night in terms of the result, of course.

"It was really hard to take on board that you conceded goals, even if you concede one it is always hard to take as a goalkeeper because you don't want to concede any goals.

"That (Barca) team on the night were out there as one of the best teams in the world, if not the best team in the world that night and everything just went for them.

"Everything dropped right for them in front of goal, they were a different class and that's what happens sometimes."

'It's unfortunate for Craig with a longer term injury but it's time for me to step up and show what I can do.'
Dorus de Vries

The 37-year old, who was helping publicise a new two-year sponsorship by IT and communications group company Exsel Group of the Celtic Women's team, has faced a long wait to get another crack at first team football after being deposed by Gordon and he said it was good just to be back in action.

"It's great playing," he said. "That's what you train for as a player. It's good to be playing.

"It's unfortunate for Craig with a longer term injury but it's time for me to step up and show what I can do.

"You don't have any rhythm and you try to get up to a rhythm as fast as possible. That's up to me, to be fair.

"I've been training really hard ever since I got here, just trying to remain focused and trying to maintain standards. That's all I've done since I arrived here and now the time has come that you can play and you've got to make sure that you are ready.

"It is difficult, to be honest. You need to try to stay motivated but I'm really fortunate with the players that we've got here.

"They keep you motivated and keep you sharp and keep you going. It's the same with the technical staff. Everybody here is so enjoyable to work with."

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