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Johansen: Persistence paid off for Celtic

While FC Astra Giurgiu conceded defeat in the race for a last-32 spot, Celtic FC scorers Stefan Johansen and Stefan Šćepović were left to relish a triumph for perseverance.

Stefan Johansen celebrates after making it 2-0
Stefan Johansen celebrates after making it 2-0 ©Getty Images

Stefan Johansen and Stefan Šćepović say Celtic perseverance paid off in 2-1 victory
Astra, still without a Group D point, concede a last-32 spot is now beyond them
Šćepović struck his first goal for Celtic as they moved four points clear of third place
Next games: Astra v Celtic (6 November)

Stefan Johansen, Celtic midfielder
Now we have seven points out of a possible nine; it's a good start for us. Astra were a decent team but we knew we had to be patient. Good teams last for 90 minutes, not 45, and we kept on going, scored two goals and then we conceded one unnecessary goal. But it's OK because we won.

We wanted to put more tempo into the game in the second half, make them tired and we knew the chances would come. We should have killed the game off after my goal but they got a goal back, so there was unnecessary pressure at the end but the most important thing is the three points. It leaves us in a strong position.

Syam Ben Youssef, Astra defender
We are very disappointed because we missed a lot of chances. We should have been ahead at half-time and when you don't take your chances you encourage to the other team. When we scored we were still creating chances and thought we could have got a point but it wasn't to be.

I think it's finished for us now and all we can do is take what we have learned into the remaining games and collect as many points as we can.

Stefan Šćepović, Celtic forward 
The win was the most important thing but to score my first goal is important for my confidence. I had a few chances but as a striker the important thing is to keep trying. I worked hard, got the goal and now we have seven points from nine in our group. I think we are getting better and improving as a team.

Deila: happy with the three points
Deila: happy with the three points©Getty Images

Ronny Deila, Celtic manager
I hoped the game was over at 2-0 and I'm very happy with the three points. We gave them chances with our slack passes and at times we had too many touches on the ball. I kept Šćepović on because he was getting chances. He deserved his goal and I am very happy for him. I never take anything for granted. We have some difficult games ahead in this competition.

Oleg Protasov, Astra coach
Maybe a draw would have been the right result. I haven't been with my team long; I'm just trying to organise things. We have some very good midfielders to create chances and if I had some better strikers we would have done better tonight. There is no pressure on us for the home game against Celtic now. We will try to win it.