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Bhoys striker eyes Europa League progress

By | 8th August 2011

Celtic forward Gary Hooper has admitted that last year’s shocking early elimination from both the UEFA Champions League and Europa League qualification has left him seeking vengeance.

Hooper, who scored his first goal for the Hoops over the course of the 4-2 aggregate defeat to Portuguese outfit Braga in the club’s first Champions League qualifier, went on to see his teammates lose out to Utrecht in a Europa League qualifier while sidelined with an injury.

Therefore, with the Scottish giants now set to compete against Swiss outfit FC Sion in the Europa League (the first leg is scheduled for August 18), it comes as no surprise that Hooper is hoping for a better outcome.

“We’ve got to go for it. We’re looking to go quite far in Europe. I played against Braga last year and scored but it wasn’t enough, and this year we’ve got to go for it again,” he stated on the club’s official website.

The 23-year old added: “I missed both of the Utrecht games and wasn’t involved in the first Braga game. But this time, I’m injury-free going into the next couple of weeks.”

The former Scunthorpe United striker also emphasized the importance of having the first leg at home and urged his teammates to carry a significant advantage into the second leg away from home.

“I couldn’t tell you much about them but we’ve got to worry about ourselves, and play our own game. The first game is at home so we need to go for it, so we can take a few goals lead to them,” he concluded.

Before facing FC Sion, the Hoops will host Dundee United in their third fixture of the Clydesdale Bank Premier League this coming Saturday.

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