IT is a tale of woe as old as time for Scottish clubs on the European stage that the squandering of the few opportunities they manage to carve out against higher calibre opposition inevitably ends with said team being punished at the other end. And subsequently, being dumped out of the competition.

So it was for Celtic last season as Ange Postecoglou took his men into the Champions League swinging. More often than not, despite some creditable and gutsy showings, they ended up missing their target and being sucker punched as a result against more ruthless opponents.

The manager has now gone, and it remains to be seen if his successor, Brendan Rodgers, adopts the same gung-ho approach when stepping up the weights.

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For the majority of the players who were novices at that level last time around though, lessons have been learned and banked, and they approach their Champions League campaign this time around a little chastened for their previous experience, but emboldened by it too.

That’s the opinion of attacker Daizen Maeda, in any case, who fully recognises that a more clinical edge in both areas will be required if they are to achieve their goal of qualification from a section that will be populated at this week’s draw in Monaco.

He was guilty of missing chances on the big stage last term, but was far from alone in being an offender in that regard, with even the usually reliable finishing touch of master marksman Kyogo Furuhashi deserting him at key moments.

He is hoping though that banishing those yips will lead to a better outcome this time around.

“As a club we are aiming to go through the group stage,” Maeda said.

“I think it is very important for us to see how far we can take the club. That is what we want to achieve.

“Individually, and as a team, we had chances, even though that was only on a few occasions. In this kind of competition, if we have a chance we have to put it away. And if we give a chance away, we have to defend it very well. So, from both viewpoints, we have to prove better than last year.

“Last season after the draw, I was very excited with the opponents that we got. However, we didn’t win any games, so we ended up very disappointed.

“So, this year, again, I am looking forward to the draw but when it comes to the games we have to play very well and get wins.”

Celtic fans will no doubt be allowing their minds to wander about the potential glamour trips that lie in wait, although a quickfire rematch with the might of Real Madrid may not hold as much novel appeal this time around.

The players though, Maeda explained, would welcome the chance to measure themselves against that bar once more, and show what they have indeed learned since.

“I do think about playing Real Madrid again,” he said.

“Not for revenge, but to show that any team that comes up to the Champions League is strong and that we can get wins and show we are a different team. I want us to demonstrate that.”

Before they can show they have adjusted to Champions League football though, the Celtic players must first show that they have adapted to the tactical tweaks put in place by new manager Brendan Rodgers.

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Maeda admits that it has been something of a difficult adjustment for him, mainly because he has been so used to the demands placed upon him by Ange Postecoglou at Yokohama F. Marinos and then when he came to Scotland.

“My form is not the best yet,” he said.

“Usually each player has to improve, and I include myself in that. The team is working hard to be the best of ourselves right now. We just have to keep working hard to do that.

“For the manager it is obviously the second time, but for me it is a new manager. We are trying to do new things, so individually and as a team we have to adapt to the new style of play. That quite often happens in football.

“For me that means I have to adjust to the new tactics, the training, work hard and try to make adjustments in the games.

“Personally, I feel that the tactics of the previous manager are kind-of instilled in my game. So obviously I have to change to the new style.

“However, the league has already started. You have to get the results as you apply the new style and that is what we are doing.”