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Hooper: Home fans can drive Celtic's Euro quest

GARY Hooper is looking for Celtic fans to help kick-start the club's Europa League campaign when Udinese visit Glasgow tomorrow.

Neil Lennon's men lost their Group I opener to Atletico Madrid in Spain earlier in the month and now face the highly rated Italian outfit, who are currently joint-top of Serie A and who beat French side Rennes in their first Euro fixture.

Celtic are perhaps least fancied of all four teams to make the knockout stages but after the 2-0 win over Inverness Caledonian Thistle at the weekend, the Parkhead striker is relishing the game against Udinese and believes home advantage could be crucial.

"They are a big team but we are at home, we have the crowd behind us and they will be loud and get us going," said Hooper.


"We got a good result the other day, a clean sheet and now we are only thinking about winning (the game).

"We have to basically go for it. We will attack but we have to defend as well because they are meant to be good on the counter-attack.

"But it is going to be a big night and I am looking forward to it.

"We want to win every game but the main thing is winning at home."

Lennon will keep everyone guessing with regards to his line-up, but Hooper, who has recovered from an ankle knock which forced him off against Caley, is certain to start in attack alongside either Georgios Samaras or Anthony Stokes.

Celtic fans are overwhelmingly in favour of the Hooper-Stokes partnership, but former Scunthorpe striker Hooper insists he is happy to play alongside either man.

He said: "They are different players. Me and Stokesy are similar players and Georgios is a big target man.

"So you have to adjust your game in training and in the matches.

"I wouldn't say it was difficult, we are footballers and we have to deal with it and play with each other.

"But I have got to keep playing well and scoring goals for me to get picked."