Celtic's no.2 John Collins has recently suggested that Celtic suffer on the European stage due to their lack of competition in Scotland.
Collins, and manager, Ronny Deila, are looking to guide Celtic to the lucrative Champions League group-stages - with a play-off tie with Malmo in the coming weeks.
However, the hoops assistant was speaking to the Daily Record over the weekend and revealed he is less than impressed with the level of opposition that Celtic are faced with.
SUBMIT AN ARTICLE
Apply to become a GMS writer by signing up and submitting a 250 word test article: http://gms.to/haveyoursay5
Article continues below
“We conceded too many goals in Europe last year. If you become open and detached against good players and teams you get punished.
“It’s something that doesn’t happen in Scotland. No disrespect to teams here but they’re not clever enough players or quick enough thinkers to punish us.”
Article continues below
These comments have been met with mixed feelings though, as Dons manager, Derek McInnes said he felt these words were 'disrespectful' and 'disparaging'.
“He’s got a lot to say for an assistant manager, to be honest", via Daily Record. “I think it’s very disparaging, it’s a poor comment.
“He’s entitled to his opinion but if it was that easy they would win the Treble every year."
“Whether he thinks that or not, I think it’s disrespectful to the rest of the league to say that. It’s disappointing. There is a level of competition there that can test them and I think what he said is a slap in the face to the rest of the league.”
Meanwhile, Stuart McCall has had his say on Collins' comments; and reckons his former Scotland team-mate is correct in his assessment of Scottish football.
“If you look at it in a sensible manner, there is merit in what John’s saying because Celtic will come up against a higher calibre of striker in the Champions League. And the further they progress, the better the opposition will be.
“When most teams go to Parkhead, they usually play with just the one up front and Virgil van Dijk strolls about.
He continued, speaking to Record Sport:
“But their defenders will get a test in training and in bounce games and there are good strikers playing in Scotland, too.
“It’s maybe a bit different away from home when clubs look to test them a bit more at tighter grounds like Ross County and Motherwell.”
Collins will be preparing Celtic for the visit of Swedish champions, Malmo with the first-leg taking place on the Wednesday 19th of August at Celtic Park.