Celtic manager Martin O’Neill, admitted that the sweltering heat could in Seville be a factor as he prepares hs side for their first European final in 33 years.
However, O’Neill, speaking on the eve of tomorrow night’s UEFA Cup final against FC Porto, admitted that the soaring temperature in the city, was something his side would have to deal with.
“It is very, very hot,” said O’Neill in reference to the temperature which had climbed to 43C.
“We are pleased that we came out on Sunday to adjust to the weather, which isunseasonably hot. But it is great to be in the final and we don’t care what sort of conditions we have to face.”
“The heat is an obvious concern. It’s not something we can change, though. It’s there, we can’t do anything about it, but if you would have told me with ten minutes to go in Boavista about the weather conditions, it’s something I would have taken. It’s great to be here, absolutely terrific. I’m looking forward to it and so are the players and we will have to adapt accordingly.”
Asked about the huge travelling army of supporters – estimated by one journalist at 40,000 – who have followed the team to Spain, O’Neill, said the numbers were a boost to his team. .
“I think you got the wrong number (40,000), I think it is more like 140,000. The people of Seville will be surprised at the number of supporters. There are very few Celtic supporters left in Glasgow,” he said.
“I only wish that having more supporters would guarantee success. But it is terrific to see it and it is not something that we take for granted.”
O’Neill reminded the assebled jourmalists that Celtic were the first British team to win the European Cup and reminded those present of the legacy of the 1967 team.
“The important thing is that we embrace the club’s history and not be frightened of it,” he said.
“We might be a million miles off that European Cup winning team but we’ve reached afinal and we’ve done it with some terrific players who have a terrific spirit.”