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Derk Boerrigter buoyed by Hoops display

Updated: Sunday, 24 Nov 2013 13:18 | Comments

Derk Boerrigter scored his first goal for Celtic against Aberdeen
Derk Boerrigter scored his first goal for Celtic against Aberdeen

Derk Boerrigter believes Celtic showed on Saturday that they have the qualities to beat AC Milan in their crunch Champions League game at Parkhead on Tuesday night.

The Hoops displayed their never-say-die spirit once again with a 3-1 win against Aberdeen where the Dutch forward grabbed his first goal in green and white since his £3million signing from Ajax in the summer.

After Niall McGinn had cancelled out Kris Commons' opener for the home side it looked like Neil Lennon's men would be facing the Rosseneri on the back of a draw.

However, Boerrigter pounced from close range in the first minute of added time before Commons grabbed a second to extend the Hoops' unbeaten Scottish Premiership run to 13 games.

Celtic's European campaign, though, is proving more problematic.

They are bottom of Group H with three points from four games and, with a trip to face Barcelona in their final fixture next month, the Scottish champions need to beat AC Milan to have a realistic chance of reaching the last 16 of the competition for the second successive season.

Boerrigter, 27, who believes he has almost fully recovered from an ankle injury which has curtailed his Hoops career, believes it can be done.

"Yeah I think so," he said. "We are playing at home, we will have the fans behind us and there is quality in the team.

"We have to play our own game and (if we do) we can win.

"It is good that we can be patient and have the qualities to score goals in the final minutes."

Asked if Celtic might need to be similarly patient against the Serie A side, who are two points ahead of the Hoops and one ahead of third-placed Ajax, Boerrigter smiled when he said: "I would rather do it comfortably than wait for the final minute but I will take the win."

Lennon expects to have his firepower enhanced for the visit of Milan.

Winger James Forrest will be back from a hamstring injury and striker Anthony Stokes will return after personal issues led to him missing the Dons game.

However, Lennon will be just as buoyed by the form of goalkeeper Fraser Forster, whose late save from McGinn, when he tipped a strike by the former Celtic player onto the post, was a probable game-saver.

Lennon praised his number one who recently made his England debut in the 2-0 defeat to Chile at Wembley.

"There are only a few 'keepers who can make that save and he is one of them," he said.

 "It even got a bounce before which makes the save even more outstanding. I thought he could have come for their goal but if there is any blame to be attached he certainly redeemed that with a world-class save."

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