Hail, Hail San Marino Here in Paradise but can they ‘do an Andorra’ at Hampden?

“We were delighted to welcome the San Marino national team to Celtic Park for a Stadium tour today ahead of their match at Hampden Park on Sunday,” Celtic Park Events tweeted.

“Are we offering them Lennoxtown to train at? Like Juventus did at a certain blue-hued team’s facilities a few years back?” Dave Rose asked.

“San Marino CSC. Do us proud lads…” Dominic Carlin commented, clearly supporting the wee Minnows tomorrow against the big Minnows.

Only the one Celtic player started in Moscow on Thursday night. Callum McGregor was joined later in the game by Ryan Christie – an absolutely bizarre decision from struggling manager Steve Clarke to leave out the most creative player in his squad and the current leading goalscorer at champions Celtic.

Christie got Scotland’s only shot on target in what was another depressing and dismal showing. As well as discussing his Twitter dramas from last weekend – ‘Yer Club’s Deed mate’ is how to deal with that son (copyright, The Griff), the midfielder also discussed the visit of San Marino to Hampden tomorrow.

For Christie it’s his last game before going into cold storage for a two match suspension that will see him miss the games against Ross County and Aberdeen and he’s hoping to make the most of it.

Thursday night was hard to take for Christie and his teammates and hard to watch for the long suffering Scottish viewing public.

“Is it hurtful? Yes, for a number of reasons. I don’t like to use a word like embarrassing, but that’s what it feels like, especially towards the end when they were in complete control.

“It’s also embarrassing for the gaffer, who’s worked so hard for us and, we feel, has been drilling us really well for the game. We’re probably letting him down in games right now,” the Celtic man told the media, as reported by Scottish Sun.

“But it’s important for us to go again. It was tough on Thursday, but we need to go out and put in a good performance against San Marino on Sunday.

“We need to stop this run of defeats and get a win. If we can win convincingly, even better.

“Hopefully, things will come back a bit and get that belief back again. We want to end the trip on a high and look to get two wins over Cyprus and Kazakhstan in November.

“Russia are a good side and we got punished. I don’t know if it was inexperience or what, but it was obviously a harsh lesson we need to learn from quickly. It is so frustrating, because we do want to build a bit of momentum.

“We’ve all been talking before Moscow about the last four games in the group and building things up. All week we worked to come up with a game plan and everyone felt good again.

“We looked as though we could bring a result home and then 57 minutes in we lose a goal. It’s strange because we felt good until then. They created a bit in the first half, but we came out and got a foothold in the game.

“That’s just when you need to keep your concentration at its highest and again it’s a set-piece. Let’s just say the gaffer was frustrated about that — and we need to learn quickly.”

Incidentally while England ‘got battered’ in Prague last night, there was something else happening. After 57 attempts and 20 years of trying Andorra has won their first ever European Championship qualifier with a 1-0 win over Moldova. 

Maybe tomorrow San Marino will fancy their chances of doing an Andorra at Hampden? Steve Clarke reckoned that we’d reached the lowest of the low on Thursday but things could get even worse tomorrow if he persists with his bizarre team selections.

Five goals in two games including a hat-trick against Israel have kept Scotland’s chances alive after dismal Euro campaign

He needs to get Christie and Scotland Euro saviour James Forrest in the team to save Scotland’s blushes.

About Author

The Celtic Star founder and editor, who has edited numerous Celtic books over the past decade or so including several from Lisbon Lions, Willie Wallace, Tommy Gemmell and Jim Craig. Earliest Celtic memories include a win over East Fife at Celtic Park and the 4-1 League Cup loss to Partick Thistle as a 6 year old. Best game? Easy 4-2, 1979 when Ten Men Won the League. Email editor@thecelticstar.co.uk

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