My first game here was hard, I was too young and the manager was shouting at me to be strong.
Commons was succinct in his summation of the duo – “they are world class” – but insists the Premiership side will not be anxious ahead of the Europa League clash with the Turkish side at Parkhead on Thursday night.
Van Persie is not happy as a substitute and the two shared a meek handshake after Sunday’s defeat to Besiktas. Yet he hardly succeeded in concealing that the former Arsenal forward is unlikely to become a friend for life.
“Sometimes the tensions are high”.
But Meireles warned: “Maybe Celtic do think it’s a good time to be playing us, I hope they do”.
“We are at our best when we are offensive and when we are really at it from the first kick of the ball and we have to use this fantastic atmosphere in the stadium to push them back”. But in football you can solve the situation perfectly.
“Many times in football to win games you need these kinds of tensions”.
“It just epitomises everything that is special about our club and every single person who played their part in achieving this magnificent total should feel very proud today”. Their recent struggles were compounded at the weekend when they ran out 3-2 losers to Turkish Super League title-rivals Besiktas, making it two losses from their last three games across all competitions.
So keen was Pereira on focusing on the meeting with Celtic, a later enquiry as to whether Van Persie might have done enough to earn a start with his goals from the bench was well and truly slapped down.
“What I can remember was that it was very tough, very emotional”, he said of the 1-1 draw in 2008. It would also be a considerable help to Celtic’s prospects if another sequence were to be extended – Robin van Persie’s failure to score in 11 Uefa Cup and Europa League appearances. We’re going to come up against a very strong team but I wouldn’t say we’re scared of any individual.
“Of course we wanted to be playing in The Champions League, but we are not and we accept that”.
He added: “We know we’re going to play against a hard team and we’re playing away”. It’s a team who likes to attack when they play at home, they have a strong mentality until the last minute, like in England.