Samaras slams unprofessional Hoops

The Scottish champions were not at their best against the

Staggies in Dingwall and needed a goal from Kris Commons with

seconds of three added minutes remaining to secure a point.

Ahead of the first game against Helsingborgs, Samaras spoke of

the importance of reaching the group stages of the Champions

Leagueand how he thought it affected the Hoops players in the

Highlands.

The Greece striker said: “You know sometimes, I know it is a bit

unprofessional, but sometimes, when your target is European

football then maybe your mind is on the European games because they

are more important.

“Because, if you drop points in the SPL you have all season to

correct things, but now, in one week, we have to play two games and

we need to be focused 100% there.

“I know it is not right but I think in the game we played on

Saturday, our mind was a little bit for the game tomorrow.”

After the game in Dingwall Neil Lennon accused some of his

players of “going through the motions” but the Hoops manager

stopped short of concurring with Samaras’ assessment.

He said: “I don’t know about that. I think unprofessional is

sort of the wrong word, maybe some of them had one eye on Tuesday

night.

“They know the significance of the game and how big it is for

themselves and everyone associated with the club.”

Samaras believes Celtic now have the “maturity” to reach the

group stages of European football’s elite club competition.

The former Manchester City player said: “It is an important game

for us, we want to play at the top level and the Champions League

is the highest level in European football.

“Europa League is European football but we did that last year

and I think we were a bit unlucky not to go through.

“But I think our team is more mature now and ready to go to the

highest level.

“We want to raise the bar a bit higher and the aim is to be in

the group stages of the Champions League.”