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Celtic v Barcelona: Thrashing made hoops a better team, says Scott Sinclair

By Ronnie Esplin

Published 22/11/2016

Confident: Scott Sinclair is sure Celtic are improving in Europe
Confident: Scott Sinclair is sure Celtic are improving in Europe

Celtic winger Scott Sinclair has no fears ahead of tomorrow's visit of Barcelona as he looks for major improvement on their Nou Camp showing.

Ulsterman Brendan Rodgers' team suffered their heaviest European defeat when they lost 7-0 to the Catalan side in September.

But Sinclair was heartened by Celtic's progress between their double header against Borussia Monchengladbach, when they drew 1-1 in Germany following a 2-0 home loss.

And he believes they can make greater advances when they try to get off the bottom of their Champions League group.

"We have learned a lot and everyone will just be looking forward to that game, including the fans," the former Swansea, Manchester City and Aston Villa player said. "It's a massive game for us to prove ourselves.

"There's no apprehension. We've learned a lot from that game. Even when we went away to Monchengladbach we showed the difference when we conceded. We lost the game at home, but we went there and drew.

"I think we've learned a lot and hopefully now we're going in with a positive mindset.

"Manchester City beat Barcelona, so anything can happen and it's very different when you're playing at home. Being in front of our own crowd will spur us on because those fans are unbelievable. Barcelona have been beaten here before so, hopefully, we'll do it again."

Meanwhile, Ronny Deila has revealed the demands of being Celtic manager caused him anxiety attacks.

The Norwegian had sleepless nights and saw his personality affected during his two-year spell at Celtic Park.

The 41-year-old stepped down at the end of last season after winning a second consecutive title, but a failure to qualify for the Champions League and add to his sole League Cup success had put him under pressure.

Deila said: "I could have a stressful thought like: 'We have to win this weekend'. Then I would be soaked in sweat, my heart would be pounding and head aching. I could wake up at four in the morning and couldn't fall asleep again.

"I almost got social anxiety, I was more passive. It took my freedom from me, the freedom to be myself. Then it became a question of values: can you do this for the rest of your life?"

Deila admitted he underestimated what he was letting himself in for when he left Norwegian title winners Stromsgodset to take over from Ulsterman Neil Lennon.

"But I would take the challenge at Celtic a thousand times again," he added. "I didn't have a chance to understand how big a a club Celtic is."

Belfast Telegraph

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