Former Liverpool defender admitted he was fearful of facing Martin O’Neill’s Leicester and Celtic teams in years gone by.
The pair were working for Sky Sports Monday Night Football and the Englishman said: “Mentioning Celtic and Leicester, I always had a huge fear coming up against your (MON) teams. And fear in that, you had a great knack of getting results it felt at that time. Certainly with Leicester in the Liverpool team I played in. A lot of times you’d come to Anfield and got decent results.”
O’Neill’s Celtic team also won at Anfield in the UEFA Cup quarter final second leg in 2003. They dominated the match and went away 2-0 winners before going on to reach the final.
Speaking on the matter O’Neill said: “We had drawn the first game at Celtic 1-1 and it meant we had to score in the game (at Anfield). Alan Thompson scores for us just before half time and John Hartson scores a screamer. We won 2-0. It was a big result for us to take us into the semi final but also a big result for Scottish football. We were always compared unfavourably with the Engllsh Premier League and Liverpool, as your side were riding so high. THIS was a big, big result.”
The pair then discussed O’Neill’s links to the Liverpool job, which he revealed never materialised or reached the stage of an offer, though he was very happy at Celtic.
It just goes to show what the Hoops were capable of back then and what stature O’Neill had to make shockwaves against big teams in Europe at that time.