Celtic manager Martin O’Neill was full of praise for his players after they overcame Celta Vigo to reach the last 16 of the UFEA Cup.

Although Cetic lost 2-1 on the night, they qualified for the next round on awaygoals by virtue of their 1-0 win at Celtic Park a fortnight ago. It is the first time the club had defeated Spanish opposition in Europe and the first time in 23 years that they remain in Europe beyond Christmas.

‘They’re sitting third in the Spanish league and they can play, but we’ve soaked up a lot of pressure to deservedly go through,’ said a dlighted O’Neill afterwards.

‘The team has a number of qualities that showed out there. We’ve got a great desire and a willingness to go through the pain barrier. They’ve an enormous spirit about them.’

‘We got tired in the second half, but we had to defend what we had and we did that magnificently,’ added O’Neill.

‘We’ve knocked out a top Spanish side and we’ll look forward to playing in the last 16 when it comes round.’