With only six days remaining until Rovers’ huge Scottish Cup clash with Celtic, Ross Dunlop discussed match preparation in our CupClashDiaries.
16/01/2017 – 6 days to go – Ross Dunlop
It’s safe to say I cannot wait for the game to be honest.
When the draw got made on the Monday night before the QOTS game, my phone went crazy, and it’s all everyone has been talking about since.
Although the build up has been great, I just can’t wait for the game to start now.
I had the pleasure of being involved in the Rangers Scottish Cup games, and I’m sure they will stand me in good stead.
I remember at the time it was massive. It was the first time Albion Rovers had been in the Quarter-Finals of the Scottish Cup in almost 90 years, so it was a great occasion.
To come so close to victory only for it to be taken away from us by that infamous goal was hard to take, but everyone to a man played amazing that day, and that performance is something we will need to replicate when we play Celtic.
The team has totally changed from that game apart from me Michael and Alan Reid, but both teams were and are good at counter-attacking and that’s a tactic we will have to use come Sunday.
I grew up a Celtic supporter so it’s always a dream come true to play them. I came on as sub against them when I was at Queen’s Park in the Scottish Cup a few years ago and never thought I was going to get the chance to do it again.
It will be a good occasion for the family if me and Michael are both involved. I think we have sold around 50 tickets so it just shows how much our friends and family are excited for it.
Although I will happily admit to be a Celtic supporter, when it comes to the game you don’t look at like you are fan, you just treat it as any other game. You try to play the best you can, get the better of your opponent and help your team get a positive result.
With regards to the crowd, it will be a great experience playing in front of a full house, and hopefully the atmosphere will be great. However, when the game starts I think I will be concentrating too much on the likes of Dembele, Griffiths, Sinclair, Roberts, that I won’t take much notice of the crowd.
To get a result is obviously the dream and would be amazing to all involved with Albion Rovers, but we know how tough a game it will be. Celtic have had a great season so far, getting into the Champions League, winning the League Cup and going unbeaten domestically.
We will all need to play to the best of our ability, carry a lot of luck, and hope Celtic have an off day if we are going to make the game competitive and hopefully that will happen. But the main thing is trying to enjoy it as there is no pressure on us. You play football so you can be involved in games like this, live on Sky Sports against currently the best team in the country in front of a sold out stadium. It makes all those times coming in from work and going to training on a cold and wet night all worthwhile, and I cannot wait for it.