Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 23 April 2014

Mowbray shows respect for Europa League game

Celtic manager Tony Mowbray

Tony Mowbray has denied he could have done without tonight's meaningless Europa League game against Rapid Vienna at the Ernst Happel Stadium.

Neither side can qualify from Group C and consequently the Hoops boss plans to rest some players ahead of Sunday's Clydesdale Bank Premier League trip to Hearts.

Mowbray, speaking at Austria's national stadium before his players went out to train in freezing conditions, rebuffed the suggestion he would gladly have foregone the interruption.

He said: “No, no. It's the next game. We have to respect the tournament we are playing in.

“We are here to give a good account of ourselves, to try and win the game and keep the confidence going into Sunday.

“I have picked the team in my mind. I know what the starting team will be unless there is an injury in training.

“And, if we do decide to go down that route (resting players), we expect a professional performance from the team.

“We are here to win the football match, to be positive and we are looking forward to it.

“There will be a decent crowd at the stadium, I hear, with a great atmosphere, and it will be a test for the players, but one we are looking forward to.

“If one or two of them get a chance tomorrow night they are not playing for their futures, they are trying to put themselves to the forefront of my mind for when I pick my next team.”