CELTIC goalkeeper Craig Gordon has insisted that he and Kieran Tierney will benefit the most from a sunshine break in Dubai next week.

The keeper and the full-back, along with Scott Brown, have been exposed to a glut of games since the campaign began for Celtic in June and the Scotland internationalist believes that recent performances have underlined the need for some respite.

Brendan Rodgers will take the squad to the United Arab Emirates on Saturday for a mini pre-season, and as well as the chance to recharge their batteries, Gordon believes it is also an opportunity for the Hoops boss to get in some proper training.

Celtic played 9 games in December, a sequence of dates that Gordon believes knocked the chance to get in much coaching, as training was geared to preparing for games.

“I am 42 games into my season,” said Gordon. “I think Kieran Tierney has played the same amount as I have and when you add the internationals it is a lot of football. This will refresh everyone and recharge the batteries but the important thing is that it also allows the manager to do a bit of work on the training ground too and do a bit of coaching.

“When there are so many games then you have to recover, you have to prepare for the next game and there is not the same chance to do a lot of detailed work.

“So this is a good coaching week for the players. It will let us refocus and look at the things we are good at and have another think about the way that the manager wants us to play.

“We have played 12 games in Europe already – six to qualify and six in the group stages as well as the four in the League Cup – so it is a lot of games. We have got a big squad and the people who have come in have stood up and kept us going.”

Meanwhile, as Celtic will look to kick on in the latter half of the domestic campaign in order to continue their domination on the home front, they also have the chance to continue their continental education.

A Europa League tie against Zenit St Petersburg awaits in February, and for Gordon the first leg at Celtic Park is a chance to make an attempt at re-establish the once fearful reputation the club had on home soil.

This season’s experience in the UEFA Champions League compounded a woeful run of recent displays at Celtic Park, with the Parkhead side losing all three group games in Glasgow for the first time in their history. Ignominiously, it was also the first time any British club has failed to win any of their home games in Europe’s elite tournament.

Few would genuinely look to judge Celtic against the likes of Barcelona, Bayern Munich or Paris-Saint Germain given the vast chasm in resources but against Anderlecht, the Parkhead side would look to hold their own.

And Gordon believes the knockout nature of the contest can inspire that sense of ruthlessness on home soil.

“We need to get back to winning games at home,” said the Scotland internationalist. “If we are going back to two-legged ties we need to start winning games at home. I think in the qualifying campaigns over the last two seasons when it has been the two-legged, knock-out games we have done quite well and managed to qualify for two games in a row. Those ties have suited us.

“We have known how to deal with the pressures of the away goal situation. It also depends who is at home first and who is away because it can change how you approach the game, whether you are attacking or defending. There are a lot of things that come into play in knock-out football which change things a little.”

There was some criticism directed at Celtic for their meagre return in Group B – the Parkhead side took just three points – but there were other examples around Europe of teams progressing with little from their group.

Borussia Dortmund, in the same group as Spurs and Real Madrid, went into the Europa League with just two points from their six group games.

Similarly, Celtic’s situation was

always going to be a joust for third spot with Anderlecht, as Bayern and PSG were never in any danger of

relinquishing the top qualification spots.

In any case, for Gordon it is a case of Celtic looking to perform as well as they can against teams whose pedigree would suggest they could still be in the Champions League.

“It can depend how your group pans out but more often than not the top two seeds go through,” said the goalkeeper. “There are only one or two situations groups where that hasn’t happened.

“You do expect those teams at the top level to qualify and it is a bit of a fight for the other ones to try to get the Europa League.

“Occasionally, you get the big names dropping into the Europa League and it is great for us to be involved in it.”