SCOTT Bain is sitting in the Celtic Park main stand an hour after his team have beaten FK Sarajevo to secure their passage to the next round of the Champions League second qualifier.

The goalkeeper is trying his best not to look too far ahead. But that's not such an easy task.

On Wednesday evening, at the same stadium, his side face Estonia’s Nomme Kalju, a team that really should be taken care of without too much trouble – famous last words.

They will play the first-leg and on Monday, 48 hours before such is UEFA’s way of doing things, the draw for the third round, the last before the actual Champions League play-off, will take place.

There aren’t too many teams Celtic could get who would be seen as favourites. The draw has so far been kind to the Scottish champions.


READ MORE: What sort of threat do Nomme Kalju pose to Celtic?

Hey, why don’t hand them the cup with the big ears now.

"For everyone here, it's amazing,” admitted Bain when asked what the group stage would mean. “This is a club that wants to be at that level. We want to show we can perform at that level and get the accolades we deserve. It's massive for Celtic. We've got a long way to go, it's a long route to get there but if we can get there it's like winning another cup for us.

"I wasn't thinking about the Champions League when I was at Dundee but now that I am here when we played the Valencia game for me that was a Champions League team with the money they spend and pay for players and we all performed excellently, especially over there. We can all take confidence from that, although we got beat. That's a top side, so it was a nice learning curve for me to say I can play at that level and standard.

"I think getting there (group stage) is like winning a cup. We need it, we want but we will play more games to get to the Champions League than we would to win a cup in Scotland. It's a good aim for us to go into every game like a cup final. The lads have achieved it before, they know how to do it. It's just a case of taking on their experience, taking on the manager's experience from doing it before and hopefully we can go all the way but it's still early days.”

The story goes that after his first training session, the Celtic staff turned to one another with a smile on their face.

The goalie frozen out by Dundee, he and Neil McCann didn’t get on, wasn’t going to be just a back-up to Craig Gordon. He was at Celtic to be the first choice.

Not than Bain sees himself as the top man.

“Here I don't think anyone with the exception of Scott Brown can say there are guaranteed to start. It's great to have someone like that (Gordon) who's wanting to play and pushing me to make sure I am at the highest standard I can be. It's just a case of right now of trying to put in solid performances.


READ MORE: Neil Lennon insists Scott Brown is one of Celtic's most influential players from the past 20 years

“It's only the second game, so once the cobwebs are away, once we get up and running, we'll be flying.”

Brendan Rodgers wanted his goalie to pass the ball out. That didn’t always work. By the end, the former manager’s stubborn approach to this part of the game began to annoy the punters.

Neil Lennon is a safety-first kind of guy. He is of the belief that playing it out from defence is great but then so is clearing your lines if the situation demands it.

"We've tried to look a little bit longer on it, not invite as much pressure because it's only two games in we are still trying to find out feet,” said Bain. “For myself, it was a good game last week where I knew what my new role would be.

"I can see and look into the second and third lines, longer passes that can take pressure off the boys and they can play further up the pitch. It's good, another aspect of the game that I enjoy. For me, it's great.”