HIBS hammered Hamilton 6-0 today at Easter Road and Aberdeen thumped St Mirren 4-1 at Pittodrie and in doing so Derek McInnes’ side has pushed the Rangers down to seventh in the Premiership.
Brendan Rodgers and the Celtic party, currently preparing for tomorrow’s match at McDiarmid Park at their hotel in Dunblane, will take note of these results, especially the one at Easter Road. Neil Lennon’s free scoring side has moved four points ahead of Celtic – and with today’s goals – almost as many as Celtic have managed in their entire league campaign to-date – they are well ahead in that department too. Ten goals ahead to be exact.
Celtic need to start scoring and perhaps Salzburg should Celtic how to go about it on Thursday night.
Tomorrow has the feel of an important day about it. If Celtic pick up the 3 points then the game at Ibrox will see points dropped by either or both of Rangers and Hearts. Probably a draw would suit us, as well as Hibs and Aberdeen fans.
Callum McGregor has been talking about the importance of tomorrow’s game to Celtic.
“It is always tough coming off the back of European nights, especially when you get that Thursday/Sunday quick turnaround,” McGregor said.
“We had a good game up there last midweek. So they will make it difficult for us again.
“We have got to get the freshness in the legs again and go again on Sunday and we need three points.”
Thursday night was a bruising encounter for the Celtic players, who have had their collective pride hurt by the manner of the defeat after a sorry second half collapse allowed Salzburg to overturn a 1-0 deficit to win 3-1. Celtic certainly got what they deserved – nothing. McGregor picked over the bones of another European disappointment.
“They were semi-finalists last year so it shows how good they have been in this competition and they have a really good home record.
“We knew it was going to be tough going there but when you go the goal up everyone’s expectation changes – you can go and win the game or certainly get a draw but credit to them, it was good goals for them.
“It started well for us and we limited them to a few shots in the first half from outside the area.
“They stepped it up and we were a bit sloppy on the ball and caused our own problems.
“And then you see how good they are on the counter-attack, the counter press, they get it wide, cross it and flood the box with good numbers and it was good counter-attacking goals.”
That’s what Celtic need – goals. Starting tomorrow…
Incidentally, did you read Matt Corr’s Salzburg Diary? It’s excellent – check it out HERE.