Darren Young reckons Albion Rovers’ five-game unbeaten run at the Excelsior Stadium can be a positive omen in their Scottish Cup clash against giants Celtic.
Ladbrokes News spoke exclusively to the Wee Rovers boss ahead of their mammoth cup tie.
Brendan Rodgers’ men are unbeaten domestically this season, with 23 wins and one draw in 24 outings so far, so unsurprisingly go into this game as huge favourites. But with Rovers hosting their illustrious visitors at Airdrieonian’s Excelsior Stadium, they can lean on that five-game unbeaten run at the Diamonds’ home.
The Coatbridge club have moved venues in anticipation of a huge crowd turning out for this cup cracker. But, Young explains, this could do more than just boost the club’s coffers:
“My very first game as a player-manager was at the Excelsior Stadium and we won on penalties against Airdrie. Now we’re unbeaten in five games at the Excelsior – so maybe there’s a lucky omen there.”
Rovers’ part-time status means Young has had to juggle his job as an estate agent with preparing for the biggest game of his career so far. But he told us that a busy period in the day job can’t dampen his enthusiasm for the visit of the Ladbrokes Premiership champions.
“This is our first week back, and for estate agency work, it’s a really busy time. People are coming back from holidays and clients are all getting in touch this week. But there’s never a bad time to play Celtic – even if the estate agent stuff might suffer a bit this week!”
While this is Young’s first meeting with the Bhoys as a manager, he’s had plenty of experience facing them from his time on the field for Aberdeen, Dunfermline and Dundee. And he knows how his players should best approach this mammoth tie.
“You need to be confident in your own ability”, he explains. “You’ll make mistakes so you need to bounce back from it. Our guys are facing some of the best players in Scottish football, so it’s about going out there and proving your ability, and giving your all.”
The 38-year-old is under no illusions that this is a mightily tough test, but he feels his players can take advantage if their opponents are below their best on the day.
“You’re going to be knackered, going to be chasing the ball, but it’s about giving it to a team-mate, try to get forward and be positive”, the Glaswegian gaffer explains.
“It’s about a team, you need 10 or 11 players on their game. If that happens and Celtic have an off day then you’ve got a chance.
He concludes: “It’s happened before and it’ll happen again. It’s just that no one else has managed to beat Celtic this season.”
Could it be the Wee Rovers who finally end that run?
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