CHRIS Davies last night stressed that Celtic will have loftier ambitions than finishing third in their Champions League group and qualifying for the knockout rounds of the Europa League despite being drawn alongside both Bayern Munich and Paris Saint-Germain. 

The Scottish champions were placed in Group B with German giants Bayern, free-spending French outfit PSG and Anderlecht of Belgium at the Grimaldi Forum in Monaco yesterday evening.

Brendan Rodgers’ side faces a difficult task progressing to the last 16 of Europe’s premier club competition for only the fourth time in the Parkhead club’s history as only the top two teams progress.  

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Paris broke the world transfer record earlier this month when they signed Brazilian forward Neymar from Barcelona for a staggering £198 million fee and are also expected to land Kylian Mbappe from Monaco for £150 million. 

However, Davies, the Celtic assistant, has denied that finishing ahead of Anderlecht in their section and earning the consolation of a place in the last 32 of the Europa League is the most the Glasgow club can hope to achieve. 

He feels their record at Celtic Park and the experience many of their players have of playing at the top level in European football will prove invaluable in the coming months and could help them to upset the odds. 

“I think it’s a good draw,” he said. “You look at all the groups as the names are getting pulled out and there are good teams, really good teams, everywhere. But it is a good draw. We have got some exciting games to look forward to here. We feel we are a better outfit than we were this time last year. It is an exciting time to be at the club.

“I think that (finishing third) is what people will immediately look to. But from our perspective it certainly won’t be the message that we’re internally giving to the players from the manager. 

“That’s just not the way that we work, that we’re resigning ourselves to third place. A club of this size doesn’t do that. You have to look to each game and give it everything and see what happens. 

“The challenges are clear and are clearly really big for us. We will be playing probably two of the biggest and best clubs in world football in our group. 

“But, having said that, the record that we have got at Celtic Park is always something that works in our favour. The way the team has developed has been encouraging.” 

Davies added: “Qualifying is a fantastic achievement and you have to look at what you are up against now. There is a massive gap which has opened up in Europe, more than ever, between some of these elite teams and the rest. You have to be mindful of that. The money they are spending on one player alone is incredible.

“But it’s not as if we have players who haven’t played at this level before. We’ve got some excellent players ourselves with Champions League and international experience.

“Neymar has gone to PSG with that enormous transfer fee, but he is someone our players have played against, so that’s a good reference for them in terms of their level. That will give them confidence.

“You look at the draw and there are world class players in every group. Brendan is a realistic, pragmatic manager. But at the same time he gives players belief and confidence. He has a lot of confidence in the way we play and what we can produce. It is an exciting challenge, not one which scares us.

“We are playing against teams which are favourites to beat you. You are the underdog against the likes of PSG and Bayern. It’s not something that is new to Celtic, going into these kind of games against really good teams. 

“We are going to embrace it and look forward to it. We are going to control what we can in terms of planning for the games tactically.

“It’s an exciting challenge for us all, The players can look forward to going out and showing the same personality they did away to Moenchengladbach, Manchester City and Rosenborg - references where in good European venues we performed well.”