'We will do our job at Celtic Park,' says Erik Sviatchenko after Red Imps loss

Erik Sviatchenko in action against Lincoln Red Imps
Sviatchenko says Celtic were not expecting an easy game

Erik Sviatchenko is adamant that Celtic will progress to the next round of Champions League qualifying despite a shock defeat in Gibraltar.

Lincoln Red Imps will bring a 1-0 lead to Glasgow next week.

"We're a bit surprised," defender Sviatchenko told BBC Scotland following Brendan Rodgers' first competitive match as manager.

"We will do our job when we come to Celtic Park, we know that we're the better team."

The Scottish champions were humbled by semi-professional opponents, with many completing a day's work just in time for kick-off.

Comparisons will be drawn with Gordon Strachan's competitive debut as Celtic manager, a 5-0 loss in Bratislava 11 years ago, when sifting through the wreckage of this humiliating outcome.

Rodgers insisted in the immediate aftermath of the defeat that there was no embarrassment in losing to a club with five full-time players that has only been playing European ties for three years and competes in an amateur league.

Celtic, who warmed up with four friendly matches in Austria and Slovenia, dominated possession but were hindered by a low quality artificial surface and were knocked off their stride by well-organised and energetic hosts.

'We knew it would be tough'

Lincoln Red Imps celebrate Lee Casciaro's goal
Lincoln Red Imps celebrate Lee Casciaro's goal early in the second half

"It's obvious that people are disappointed, we wanted to create a much better result and we did everything we could preparation-wise, added Sviatchenko.

"It's not about not being ready, it's about small details.

"We are 100% together with everything. You do everything in your power to win games and sometimes it doesn't go your way.

"But that doesn't conclude that it is embarrassing, it's about going through and being professional about everything.

"We knew it would be a tough game, we never go into it thinking it is going to be easy.

"The second leg is at Celtic Park, it is our ground, it is our grass and we'll do our job and go through."

Sviatchenko captained FC Midtjylland as they swept past Lincoln 3-0 on aggregate a year ago at the same stage of the same competition and says he knew of the potential pitfalls.

"They play here every day and know how to play these games, we also know that and were unlucky today," the Danish international added.

"(Last year) It was the same (kind of game). We won 1-0 at home and 2-0 away, so it was still a close game.

"We know that Lincoln are a team that can play football and would give everything. We knew it would be a tough game but I'm 100% sure we will go through."

A dream come true for Casciaro

Lee Casciaro gets a kiss from captain Roy Chipolina
Goal hero Casciaro gets a post-match kiss from captain Roy Chipolina

Lee Casciaro stunned the visitors with the only goal, the 34-year-old Ministry of Defence policeman having scored Gibraltar's first competitive goal against Scotland at Hampden last year.

"This is something people dream about," he told BBC Radio Five Live. "This result is a remarkable thing for football."

Asked if Celtic should be embarrassed by the defeat, he replied: "No not really. They have only been training for the past two or three weeks, pre-season, we've been training close to two months already. We train every day.

"The weather benefited us and the pitch benefited us because they are not used to playing on an artificial pitch.

"We have got another 90 minutes to go and we will see if we can inflict more wounds on Celtic. We have just got to enjoy ourselves and we will see what happens.

"I have been lucky enough to score at Hampden Park so if I could score at Celtic it would be unimaginable."

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