Celtic v FC Astana: Stoilov keen to learn from Karagandy woes

Astana's Azat Nurgaliev trains at Celtic Park on Tuesday evening
Astana's Azat Nurgaliev trains at Celtic Park on Tuesday evening

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Stanimir Stoilov is determined that his Astana players will not follow the path of fellow Kazakh side Shakhter Karagandy at Celtic Park on Wednesday.

In 2013 Shakhter Karagandy surrendered a 2-0 first-leg lead in the Champions League play-off, losing 3-0 in Glasgow.

But Astana manager Stoilov, whose side drew 1-1 with Celtic in Kazakhstan last week, says his players will be more positive than were their compatriots.

He said: "The main fault of Karagandy is they were defensive for 90 minutes."

The Bulgarian added: "I thought the negative result was due to the poor performance they showed in the game and I will do my best to avoid these mistakes in order to avoid this result."

With Leigh Griffiths scoring an equaliser at the Astana Arena last Wednesday, the visitors must score at Celtic Park to have any chance of progressing.

"We understand that it will be a hard game," said Stoilov.

"It's important and we need to show beautiful football to get a result."

The five-hour time difference means the match will start at 12.45am Kazakhstan time.

However, Stoilov, whose side made the group stages of the competition last season where they met Benfica, Atletico Madrid and Galatasaray, refused to look for excuses ahead of the game.

"Tiredness due to travelling and time difference and such other factors can't be some sort of excuses for the team or for me," he said.

"In order to maintain the positive atmosphere in the squad, I don't want to discuss such issues with my players."

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