Celtic midfielder Marc Crosas claims the criticism the Parkhead players have received for much of this season has been good for them.

Tony Mowbray's side are staring at a Europa League exit on Wednesday night when they welcome surprise Group C leaders Hapoel Tel Aviv to Celtic Park. The Glasgow side, who were knocked out in the qualifying stages of the Champions League by Arsenal, need to beat the Israeli club and win at Rapid Vienna later in the month, while hoping second-placed Hamburg lose both their remaining games.

"The criticism is normal," the Spaniard said. "It is good for us as well because we need to improve every day. Everybody knows we need to be better."

Mowbray's team have been similarly troubled domestically, crashing out of the Co-operative Insurance Cup to Hearts although, somewhat ironically, Saturday's 3-1 home win over St Mirren took them back top of the Clydesdale Bank Premier League.

He added: "In terms of the league, we are top and that is all that really matters.

"We have played some good football this season and the first game against Aberdeen at Pittodrie was brilliant.

"But now we are thinking about the Europa League and we have a difficult game.

"It was good for the fans to see us win at home against St Mirren on Saturday.

"Now we are top of the league again and we need to improve every day and try and keep that position."

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