Ange Postecoglou could only lament his Celtic side’s “tale of missed opportunities” as the Hoops’ Europeans dreams were left in tatters following a 2-0 home loss to German outfit RB Leipzig.
With just one point from four UEFA Champions League matches, Celtic remains rooted to the bottom of Group F, with the Hoops hopes of progressing to the round of 16 over.
Finishing third in the group, which would secure a Europa League spot, is also going to be a tough task for Celtic.
With two Group F matches remaining, the Hoops are four points adrift of third-placed Shakhtar Donetsk, of Ukraine.
The two teams meet at Celtic Park in a fortnight.
“The next home game against Shakhtar becomes really important for us, and we’ve just got to maintain belief,” Celtic manager Postecoglou said.
“The worst thing you can do right now is let the disappointment of what’s happened tonight (against RB Leipzig) deter you from what you’re trying to achieve.
“We’ll continue down this road of being the football team we want to be, and I believe that if we continue like that, we’ll get closer and we’ll get the result that we need.”
The former Socceroos coach said missed chances continued to haunt Celtic’s performances.
“The effort was there (against RB Leipzig), the endeavour was there, but a bit like our campaign, it’s a tale of missed opportunities for us and it’s difficult,” he said.
“It’s the highest level of club football and you want to get to that point really quickly, but there is a process involved.
“At this level, goals change games. We just couldn’t get over the line, and at this level, you pay a cruel price for that.”
Socceroos playmaker Aaron Mooy was a second-half substitute for Celtic, who conceded twice in the final 15 minutes.
Postecoglou’s men return to Scottish Premiership action on Sunday morning (AEDT) when they host Martin Boyle’s Hibernian.