| 15.2°C Dublin

Celts bid to cure travel sickness

JOHAN Mjallby wants Celtic to find a way to improve on their shocking away record in Europe when they take on Atletico Madrid tonight.

Celtic have won only once in their past 30 trips abroad and are only back in the Europa League because Sion were thrown out by UEFA for fielding ineligible players in both legs of their play-off tie.

After a goalless draw in Glasgow, Celtic lost 3-1 in Switzerland on a night which started badly when Daniel Majstorovic was sent off for conceding a first-minute penalty.

Neil Lennon's men have replaced Sion in Group I, which also includes Italian side Udinese and French outfit Rennes, and assistant boss Mjallby is looking for improvement on their travels, starting tonight at the Vicente Calderon stadium.


"We haven't been great away from home and it is a chance for us to resurrect that in a way," said former Celtic defender Mjallby.

"We have three away games and will try to win each.

"We don't have the players just to be defensive but we have to make sure we are solid in defence.

"We don't want to make any silly mistakes, we don't want to be down to 10 men after a minute or concede penalties or silly free-kicks.

"If we are focused at the back we always know we have the players to go forward."

Mjallby added: "We will respect Atletico but not fear them.

"The other three teams are probably favourites to go through in the group.

"We are the outsiders but fingers crossed we can play six good games and have a chance to go through."

Mjallby will not rule Scott Brown and Anthony Stokes out of Sunday's Old Firm clash at Ibrox after both players missed the trip to Spain.

Midfielder Brown failed to recover from an ankle knock which caused him to miss the Scottish Premier League win over Motherwell at the weekend while striker Stokes picked up a thigh injury.

However, Mjallby said: "I think it is too early to say. Unfortunately they will not be available for tonight but they still have a chance for Sunday.

"Anthony has a thigh strain. He shouldn't be too bad but we were surprised to see that he picked it up in training. We have to deal with it."

Meanwhile, Sion are launching a compensation claim against UEFA.

The Swiss club say they will make an initial demand for more than ¤4million.

A Swiss court backed Sion's fight to be reinstated in the competition, but UEFA refused to allow them back.

A Sion spokesman said: "UEFA believes that it rules the world.

"The law of the jungle couldn't rule football."