Celtic: Give us time to get it right in Europe - John Collins

By Chris McLaughlinBBC Scotland
Celtic have not managed to win a match in their Europa League group
Celtic have not managed to win a match in their Europa League group

John Collins says the Celtic coaching team want to be given another chance at European football but admits there are no guarantees.

The assistant manager faced the media after Thursday's 2-1 defeat by Ajax ended their Europa League hopes.

"There are no guarantees, but I hope so," he said when asked if they will be allowed time to put things right.

"We are bitterly disappointed but we are all in it together - the players, the coaches and the staff."

Collins said he understands the high expectation at the Scottish champions but insists the current development strategy means there is no certainty of success.

"Unless you have £100m to spend like Manchester United or Barcelona, and we know that we don't, you just have to work hard and develop players," he said.

Celtic have collected just two points from five Europa League matches, conceding 11 goals.

"It's never a nice feeling losing and going out the tournament," added Collins, who played for Celtic from 1990-96.

"I have no doubt we can bounce back. Throughout every game there have been positives but we've been punished for our errors."

Charlie Mulgrew had to leave the field before the final whistle
Mulgrew left the field before the final whistle after coming on as a substitute

Collins also confirmed that Charlie Mulgrew's latest injury is a recurrence of the problem that kept the Scotland utility man sidelined for three months before Thursday's match.

"He couldn't move so the danger was if he stayed on he'd do even more damage," he explained. "We're so disappointed for him.

"We thought he was ready and he's been training. We were short of players and only used him for a short period but he's injured again."

The 29-year-old, who came on a second half substitute and had to be withdrawn in the closing minutes, will now have a scan to assess the damage.