Celtic’s Swedish defender remains wary of ‘confident’ Helsingborg
Mikael Lustig believes their Champions League opponents are playing their way into form.
Celtic defender Mikael Lustig has warned his team-mates to be wary of Champions League play-off opponents Helsingborg ahead of Tuesday’s first leg.
The Swedish defender, who joined the Hoops in January, knows all about Age Hareide’s side and believes they will prove to be much tougher than HJK Helsinki.
Lustig has made nine appearances for Neil Lennon’s side since moving from Rosenborg and speaking to Celtic’s official website, the 25-year-old says the Hoops shouldn’t take anything for granted.
“Helsingborg see themselves as the underdogs and they have everything to aim for,” he said.
“And they are a better team than Helsinki. They’re pretty strong and they’re on a good run just now so they have a lot of confidence. I’ve seen some of their games this season and we are going to meet a very good team.
“They didn’t have a great start to the season, but they’ve been playing really well recently and are scoring a lot of goals.”
Helsingborg went down 2-1 to Elfsborg at the weekend while an injury-time goal from Kris Commons rescued a point for Celtic at Ross County.
Several players have spoken of their dream to reach the group stages of Europe’s premier competition and Lustig says he’s no different.
“It’s the Champions League and you always dream about playing in that competition,” he said.
“It would be great for every player if we can qualify – it’s a chance to play at the highest level of European football.”
And the full-back believes Celtic showed the right attitude by fighting until the end in Dingwall.
He added: “We wanted the three points but we need to be happy to have scored a last-minute equaliser.
“We showed why we’re the champions. We didn’t want to lose and we kept going.”