Hamilton Accies boss Brian Rice admits he finds it daunting coming up against the likes of Celtic.
Rice is yet to face the Hoops as Accies manager after taking over in late January, days after Celtic inflicted a 3-0 home victory on the Lanarkshire side.
Since then he has led them to Premiership safety and began the new season pretty positively – picking up four points from his first four matches.
But it looks like a taller order against the 100% league leaders on Saturday lunchtime. And he admits it is sometimes easy to be overawed against the biggest teams in the league.
“I think in all my time in football people have always been scared of the Old Firm,” he told the Daily Record.
“They won’t say it. But for me personally, it’s very daunting playing against Celtic and Rangers when you see the form they’re in.
“But, at the end of the day, it’s 11 versus 11 and football’s got a habit of causing upsets.”
Rice may take a narrow defeat against Celtic
Rice’s comments are particularly interesting because they intimate that the fear of Celtic has returned. For a short spell earlier this decade there was a feeling that more smaller teams were fancying their chances of taking us on, especially on their own patch.
Brendan Rodgers’ ‘Invincible’ season put a lot of those sides back in their place but then the subsequent couple of seasons under the Northern Irishman gave them hope again.
For example, last season we shipped points to bottom six sides Livingston, St. Mirren and Motherwell all in the first half of last season. It’s early days so far this season but the ruthless way we’ve dealt with our opening four league matches suggests that we won’t be doing likewise this year.
So far this season we’ve netted 17 goals in those four matches. That suggests that Accies are in for a long afternoon on Saturday.