John Hughes, the Ross County manager, reckons his side has probably got Celtic at the worst time this weekend – and he’s not talking about the rather bizarre 7.30pm kick-off on a Sunday night. Just when you thought this season couldn’t get any stranger. Big Yogi reckons that his relegation threatened side is going to be facing a Celtic side that has in his words “got their mojo back”.
Speaking to the media as reported by Ross-shire Journal the former Celtic central defender in that pleasing on the eye Tommy Burns side in mid-1990s understands the challenge facing his Ross County side on Sunday night against a Celtic side finding consistency at long last in season 2020/21.
“They’ve got their mojo back, I’d say, after that sticky spell,” Big Yogi said. “They play some great football. I was waxing lyrical about (the)Rangers in their performance against us at Ibrox and yet, when you look at Celtic – albeit (the)Rangers beat them – they were the better football team in the Old Firm (sic) match.”
So Hughes knows the scale of the challenge facing his side on Sunday evening: “We know the strength of opponent this weekend. They seem to have that hunger back. As a player, you want to test yourself against the best so it has to inspire our players.”
Hughes took over as Ross County manager just after they shocked Celtic in the League Cup at the start of December. In his two months in charge at Victoria Park, he believes has got his side scoring again after a barren patch in the Scottish Premiership so reckons that his side can cause Celtic one or to problems in what otherwise will be a backs to the wall operation.
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“We’ve shown we’re more than capable against better teams in the division,” Yogi said. “On our day, we can beat them, but I’m striving for consistency of performance. There’s a lot we’ve tried to put in place in a short period of time.
“When I came in here there were a lot of injured players, but we’ve now got good numbers on the training pitch, competition for places.
“We’ve started scoring goals, but need to start keeping the back door shut. There is a balancing act there. I came in at a time when they were suffering for a bit of confidence and momentum, which all teams need.
“It has been stop-start, but I’ve got a good bunch of boys who realise what is needed. We need to let Celtic know they’re in a game. The pretty football is for another day. It’s all about picking up results. We have to defend from the front.”