I know what it is like to go into a Europa League campaign still looking over your shoulder at the Champions League.

We all know that is where Celtic want to be as a club.

But back in 2002 when Basle put the group stages out of our reach we more than made up with it with an absolutely fabulous run all the way to the UEFA Cup final.

And that’s the thing, you need to focus and just get on with it. Sometimes you have to hold your hands up and admit that you just weren’t good enough to make it and this summer was one of those occasions.

But before anyone gets too excited about what Celtic could potentially do in the Europa League, I think they are at least two or three genuine quality players away from being able to achieve what we did in 2003.

You have to appreciate that while it might not be the Champions League, there are teams in the Europa League of genuine quality. Atletico Madrid, Fenerbahce, Chelsea and, of course Sevilla, who have been the most successful team of all in this tournament are in there.

The one thing I would say is that if it gets to January and Celtic have been able get themselves into the knockout phase of the tournament then they would have the chance to go out and bring in a couple of players who might just make the difference.

And that is a win-win because it also helps to prepare the way for the summer and the Champions League qualifiers that start again so ridiculously early.

I think we all know that this summer’s window was a real disappointment from the club’s point of view. I am sure that behind the scenes Brendan Rodgers has had his say and there will have been dialogue between the manager and Peter Lawwell and I would be quite definite that we’ll see players come in once the window opens again.

Brendan was right to be frustrated that he never got the targets he wanted over the line this summer. I think fans were equally frustrated because they wanted this season to be the campaign where the club kicked on and started to build from a position of strength.

The sale of Moussa Dembele in the frantic final hours of the window has furthered strengthened the finances of the club and they have ample time now to get the scouting done and pinpoint exactly what they need.

I’d be pretty certain that they will get what they need – and I think if Friday night’s performance against St Mirren showed anything it is that they definitely do need fresh blood into the team.

It was flat in Paisley, the team seemed devoid of ideas and there was a feeling that everyone else was waiting for someone else to do something.

They really do need to look for greater consistency.

They kick off their Europa League campaign against Rosenborg on Thursday night and I fancy that it could be a pretty tough game for them.

These are the nights when you need your big players to come out and show what they have got.

And I know that there hasn’t been the same clamour for tickets that there would have been had this been the curtain coming up for the start of a Champions League campaign but at the same time, Celtic fans love their European nights.

When the floodlights are on and the game gets underway I am pretty sure that the crowd will be right behind the team. There is no better feeling as a player than running out of the tunnel to that roar of the crowd and European nights at Celtic Park are just tremendous occasions.

If I were in the boots of those players right now I’d be desperate to get out there and get off to a winning start. If you can get the win and get three points on the board then it really does stand you in good stead because Leipzig made it to the quarter-finals of the Europa League last year.

They will be a good outfit while Salzburg too will be tough, especially on their own patch.

But more than just getting this campaign off to a winning start, I think what celtic need right now is some momentum and consistency as they look to build up a head of steam.

They were excellent against a Rangers a couple of weeks ago and it is a performance of that ilk that we need to see against Rosenborg.

You want to go out and really be up for it from the get-go. The Norwegians have been revitalised since the arrival of their new manager – they haven’t lost a game since Rini Coolen took over – and Celtic need to be on it.