Scott Brown: Celtic can bounce back from Milan defeat
Published 18/09/2013 | 22:13
Celtic skipper Scott Brown insists the Scottish Champions can bounce back from their opening Champions League fixture to challenge for a place in the last 16.
Neil Lennon's men stunned Europe last year by escaping the group stages and making it into the knock- out stages.
But they opened this year's campaign with a 2-0 defeat after AC Milan scored twice late on to secure victory at the San Siro.
Celtic - who have never won on Italian soil - where undone by Cristian Zapata's deflected strike before ex-Portsmouth midfielder Sulley Muntari tapped home a second after former Manchester City maverick Mario Balotelli saw a fizzing free-kick stopped by goalkeeper Fraser Foster.
Yet the Parkhead side were able to match their hosts in the possession stakes and could have taken the lead when Anthony Strokes smashed a free-kick against the bar.
Asked the display gave him confidence for the rest of the group fixtures, Brown told Sky Sports: "We had a lot of chances and played well as a team but sometimes playing well doesn't get you anywhere. But then again, there is always the rematch.
"We knew it was going to be a tough group but they have got to come to Celtic Park and it is going to be a hard one [for the other teams]."
Stokes' free-kick came just two minutes before Zapata's strike flew in past Emilio Izaguirre.
But Brown felt his side were more than a match for their illustrious opponents.
"We played really well and created a lot of chances," he said. "Overall I felt we were probably the better team.
"They got the lucky break and we were always going to try and push forward [and that allowed them to get the second].
"Was I surprised by how much possession we had? Not in the slightest. We knew we were going to get possession. We know we are a good team. We gave just as good as we got."
He said: "[We have beaten Barcelona before] and that will give us belief. We know how Barcelona play.
"They are a world-class team and it will be a hard game for them. But we will set ourselves up well and see where it takes us."