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Ciftci's ban will keep him fresh for Europe: Collins

By Staff Reporter

Nadir Ciftci's six-game domestic suspension could be a boost to Celtic's European hopes, according to Hoops assistant manager John Collins.

The summer signing from Dundee United received an eight-game ban on Monday - two of which are suspended - after being found guilty of biting Jim McAlister during a Dundee derby on the final day of last season.

The 23-year-old Turkish striker will miss Celtic's six Scottish Premiership fixtures in August but he will remain available for the Parkhead club's Champions League qualifying campaign after making his debut in their 2-0 first-leg win over Stjarnan in the second qualifying round.

Former Celtic midfielder Collins, speaking at Glasgow airport before the trip to Iceland for the second leg against Stjarnan tonight, said: "Obviously he won't be available for early league games but he will be fresh for European games so for every negative there is a positive.

"It is disappointing for Nadir and ourselves but the decision is made and we just have to move on, we will wait on him coming back.

"It happened with his previous club and we knew that the hearing was yesterday.

"We had to wait on the result, the decision was made and we just have to move on and we all learn from our mistakes and hopefully it won't happen again.

"He will take his punishment and learn from it."

Defender Virgil van Dijk returns after being suspended for the first leg.

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