Kayal sure Celts can compete at home and on continent

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Beram KAYAL has no concerns about Celtic’s Europa League campaign detracting from their efforts in the Clydesdale Bank Premier League.

The Hoops have hauled themselves back into the title race after slashing leaders Rangers’ advantage at the summit from 12 points to just four in the space of nine days thanks to wins over Inverness, Dunfermline and St Mirren.

Celtic now turn their focus to European competition and the visit of Atletico Madrid as they aim to secure the win that will keep alive any realistic hopes of progressing from Group I.

And, at a time when their domestic form has improved, Kayal sees no reason why they cannot impress on all fronts.

Asked if their SPL efforts could be derailed as a result of the visit of the Spaniards, he said: “I don’t believe that will happen because we have a big squad and big players here.

“We have players who can play in Europe and players who can play in the league.

“We have a big team and now we have the injured players coming back.

“I’m so happy that they are back to help the team win games and do well in the league.

“All the focus for the players, the fans and everyone at the club is to do the maximum and win games. We want to win everything – the league and the cups. We want to work hard in every game and do the job.”

Celtic sit third in Group I and must travel to joint leaders Udinese in their final group match.

Looking ahead to tomorrow’s clash, Kayal said: “It is an important game for the club.

“Everyone in the squad and the fans know that. Every game is important for this club.

“If we win this game we have a chance to continue in Europe. We will try to do the maximum tomorrow and win the game.”

Celtic suffered a 2-0 defeat in Madrid in their opening group match but Kayal believes they have improved since then.

The midfielder said: “The first game was different because it was the first game for a lot of the players in Europe.

“Now we have the confidence to play in Europe.”