Glasgow Celtic midfielder Ryan Christie has said that his club are not “street smart” following their shock 4-3 defeat against CFR Cluj in the Champions League on Tuesday.
The first leg was drawn 1-1 and the second-leg result result means that the Hoops were dumped out 5-4 on aggregate.
“We need to be more street-smart, especially going up twice in the game and not really managing to see it out. It’s a very bitter pill to swallow,” said Christie, according to Sky Sports.
“Everyone is absolutely devastated. Everyone wants to play Champions League football at this club, everyone thinks we deserve to be there but you can’t concede four goals at home and expect to go through.
“It’s all very raw. Over the next few days we can look back and analyse it a bit more and try and learn from it, but when you go a goal up, especially in Champions League football, especially when you are at home, that should be the tie over.
“We wanted to keep going and get a bit more of a cushion but at the same time we need to keep the back door shut and we didn’t do that.”
It is rather humiliating for Neil Lennon’s Celtic side.
The Bhoys have dominated Scottish football for the best part of the last decade but have struggled to exert themselves in the Champions League.
This will do nothing to silence the critics of Scottish football, many of whom believe that a mid-table English Championship club could match Celtic in terms of quality.
To make matters worse, the defeat came against a Romanian club. The Romanian League is not highly-rated nor is it even noted for producing quality players.
Celtic looked set to get the better of Cluj after Christie himself put them 3-2 ahead in the game during the 76th minute. However, the Romanians did well to fight back and Billel Omrani eventually scored to equalise matters and put them ahead on away goals.
Celtic then had no choice but to throw men front and this backfired as the final blow came during stoppage time.
The Hoops elimination means that they will once again not be in the Champions League group stage.
Celtic now drop down to the Europa League. They must at least aim to make an impression there to prove that they are at least on par with modest teams from the top five leagues across Europe.