Commons wants to see fresh faces

18 July 2013 07:46

Kris Commons is looking for "two or three good additions" to the Celtic squad after they began their Champions League journey this season with a 3-0 win over Cliftonville in the first-leg of their second qualifier in Belfast.

Despite several key players such as Charlie Mulgrew, Adam Matthews and Joe Ledley missing through injury and with the likelihood that striker Gary Hooper, also injured, will leave the club, manager Neil Lennon was able to field a strong starting XI against the Irish part-timers but his bench was less formidable.

After goals from Mikael Lustig, Georgios Samaras and James Forrest ensured there is little chance of an upset when the Reds travel to Parkhead next week for the second-leg, the Hoops boss looked forward to getting his injured players back but admitted he would be looking to have at least one new player in his squad by then.

Lennon has already signed Amido Balde, Virgil Van Dijk and Steven Mouyokolo but Commons believes two or three more new faces will bolster Celtic's bid to make the group stages of European club football's elite competition again this season.

"We will pick up injuries throughout the season so it is important that people that are pushing us all the way are more than capable of playing at that sort of level," he told STV. "So it would be ideal if we could get two or three good additions to maintain that level.

"We are always trying to improve, we want to make the group stages of the Champions League and obviously we have three (domestic) trophies to win this season."

Commons looked back at a "strange" night as before and during the match fans of the north Belfast club, many of whom have a cultural affinity with Celtic, mingled with the travelling support and at times made it difficult to ascertain who was supporting whom.

The former Nottingham Forest and Derby player said: "It was strange but the bus journey in was strange as well. You had the Cliftonville fans as well as Celtic fans cheering us in; really strange. But it was a good atmosphere and good result. We got a couple of goals in the first 30 minutes which was ideal and now we can get prepared for the return game next week."

Commons believes the night was yet another reminder of the Scottish champions' "worldwide" status.

"Wherever we have been in Europe, our travelling support has been incredible," he said. "Even the time when we went to Australia for pre-season, there was support down there. We are playing for a club that is worldwide. We have a lot to live up to.

Source: PA