CELTIC midfielder Nir Bitton has called for his team-mates to remain focused as they prepare to face Bayer Leverkusen in Germany on Thursday evening.

Ange Postecoglou's side head into matchday five of the group stages of the Europa League knowing that a defeat, coupled with a Real Betis win over Ferencvaros, would mean missing out on the knockout stages.

The Bundesliga side won 4-0 in the reverse fixture back in September but have struggled domestically of late, while Celtic have won eight of their subsequent nine matches.

Speaking to the Celtic website, Bitton admitted that the Glasgow club are in for a stern examination in Leverkusen - but he believes his side can secure a positive result so long as they retain their focus.

"It’s going to be a massive game for us," he said. "If we want to stay in the competition we have to get a result tomorrow.

"We need to have a good game and be concentrated for 90 minutes, stay focused and hopefully get something from the game.

"Bayer Leverkusen showed us in the last match that they can hurt us if we make mistakes. They’re a top team and we need to prepare for a massive and difficult game.

"But these are the nights and games you want to play and take part in and we just need to show it tomorrow.

"We have confidence in ourselves all the time, even after the game we lost 4-0, we didn’t lose our focus or concentration.

"We’ve had some good results since that match and we want to continue in this form."

After being regularly deployed in defence over the last few years, Bitton has found himself featuring in midfield under Postecoglou this season. The 30-year-old says he is enjoying himself back in familiar territory.

"I feel like I’m back in the 2015-16 season,” he added. "I feel good, but I’ve said before, whenever I get the opportunity to play I will do my best for the team to justify the faith the manager has given me.

"It’s not about myself, it’s all about the team and if we play well that’s more important.

"Hopefully I can hit one [long-range goal] tomorrow! If not, then the fans need to be careful because usually, it’s going row Z! But if one of them hits the target then it’s going to be dangerous."