SCOTT SINCLAIR knows all about the pressures that come with being a Celtic player, and particularly at this time of year when Champions League qualifiers roll around before the side have even played a competitive domestic fixture.

He tasted success and failure during these games, making the group stages twice during his Celtic career, but also being part of the sides who fell to AEK Athens and Cluj in the third qualifying round. So, he is well placed to give an insight into what the current crop of Celtic players will be feeling before tomorrow night’s second qualifying round tie against FC Midtjylland.

Sinclair came up against Ange Postecoglou’s Celtic side in Saturday’s 1-0 friendly win for Preston, and acknowledges an impression that the Australian’s team is very much a work in progress. But he has backed his former teammates like Callum McGregor to have the quality and experience to pull them through.

“It’s a time of massive transition at the club,” Sinclair said. “Not just on the playing front, where there are a lot of changes, but right the way through the club.

“I just wish them the best. I’m like a fan now as well, so I’m always checking the scores and how they’re doing.

“I’m hoping that sooner rather than later they’ll come through this period and get back to being champions again.

“I don’t worry for them because they’ve still got good players in their squad. When they do their best and show up they can still be a very good team.

“The main thing is to win games here. That’s the demand put on them and it will be no different on Tuesday. They have to find a way to win the game and I’m sure all the players will enjoy that pressure. But they’ve got to go out and show it.

“There is so much pressure to get through these ties and it’s not easy having to play them even before the league season has started. But there’s so much pressure being at Celtic full stop, not only in these games.

“I’ve experienced it and all these players coming through will be learning about the expectation and dealing with the pressure that brings.

“The young players and the new signings that are coming to the club will learn quickly what this club is all about. They’ll soon understand what it’s like to have that pressure of having to win every game.

“That’s what fuels you as a player. That achievement of playing for Celtic is massive. All the fans put that pressure on your head but it makes sure you go and perform.”

The days of Sinclair banging goals in at the sharp end of Brendan Rodgers’ Invincibles team may seem a lifetime ago to Celtic supporters at the moment, with Postecoglou attempting to pick up the pieces from last season’s implosion in pursuit of that elusive tenth title in succession.

The memories of those dominant days are just as warm for Sinclair as they are for the supporters who savoured them.

“I’ve achieved so much with the team, picking up all the silverware and winning awards individually and collectively as a team,” he said.

“I’ll never forget that time. There are just so many great memories.

“When you do have that kind of history with a club, there’s nothing better than coming back to it and I really enjoyed it.”

Sinclair was grateful to the Celtic supporters for the ovations they gave him, both prior to the game when he ran towards the North Curve he had celebrated in front of so many times before during the warm up, and then when he was replaced late on after a lively showing on his old stomping ground.

“I loved it,” he said.

“When the fixture was announced, I couldn’t wait to get back and play at Celtic Park again.

“It was a nice reception. The fans were great. It was unfortunate that there were only 2000.

“I couldn’t have asked for anything more. Anyone going back to a previous club, to get that kind of reception from the supporters is unbelievable. So I’m very grateful to them.

“It brought back all the great memories I’ve had with Celtic and it’s going to be with me forever.

“Every single time I come back here, there are great memories.”