Alloa manager Jack Ross insists his Wasps side aren’t going to Celtic Park to simply enjoy the occasion – they’re going to win.
The Athletic gaffer takes his in-form side to the home of the Scottish champions on Wednesday night, hoping to produce a shock result and reach the League Cup semi-finals.
While some lower league teams would see a trip to one of Scotland’s big guns as an occasion to enjoy, Ross doesn’t.
And he believes his players must travel to Glasgow with the belief they can come away with a historic result.
Speaking exclusively to Ladbrokes News, Ross said: “They’ve had some big fixtures so we won’t know what personnel they’ll use against us.
“The one thing for us is people always say to their players, ‘go and enjoy it,’ but we’ve got to go and try to win the game.
“We’ve had to win five games to get to this stage in the cup, including two wins against Premiership teams.
“To work that hard to get to the quarter finals and then think, ‘ah, as long as we go to enjoy it it’s OK,’ – it’s a waste of time the work we’ve put in before.
“That will be how we’ll approach it – and that won’t be easy. People think when you say that you’ll go play four up front.
“But we’ll try and find a way to win a game, that’s got to be how we approach it.
“That’s a massive challenge and we’ll need a lot of things to go for us on the night. But it’s not impossible – we’ve got to see that.”
Brendan Rodgers’ Hoops go into the tie off the back of a six-game domestic unbeaten run and the match comes in between big midweek fixtures against Barcelona and Manchester City in the Champions League.
But Alloa have reason to be confident too after winning 11 of their 12 competitive games this season to sit top of the Ladbrokes League 1 table and be a part of the the League Cup knockout stages.
And Ross believes Alloa can benefit from the experience of going up against some big teams in the Championship over recent seasons when they face Celtic.
Rangers, Hearts and Hibernian have been among those to play league football against Alloa recently and the Wasps acquitted themselves well despite relegation last term.
He added: “It’s as tough a challenge as you could get for both me and the players.
“They’re the current champions in our country, very much the form team in the Premiership, have played fantastically well at times this season, high on confidence and there’s a feel-good factor around the place.
“But the circumstances of the Championship over recent seasons mean our players have found themselves at Tynecastle, Easter Road, Ibrox and so on and have also faced Rangers in cup competitions.
“They’ve had experience as a club coming up against big teams.
“Even in my short tenure as manager, we went to Ibrox for the game last season where they were presented the trophy and managed to draw.
“For the players to go there, with us having 50 fans and them having 50,000, that itself is a challenge.
“We set ourselves up to play a certain way that day and they did it well. But Celtic are different because they play in a different way.”
Jack Ross was speaking exclusively to Ladbrokes News. Keep checking back for more exclusive interviews from players and managers across the Ladbrokes SPFL.
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