Chris Sutton believes Celtic will look to "blow Ross County away" within 30 minutes
Former Celtic striker Chris Sutton believes the Hoops will look to “blow Ross County away” within 30 minutes in Dingwall this Sunday.
Celtic take the trip to the Global Energy Stadium this weekend knowing a win moves them closer to the Premiership title. However, there are question marks over how Celtic will react to the treble being snatched from their grasp in last weekend’s Scottish Cup semi-final loss to Rangers.
Ange Postecoglou’s men have bounced back tremendously well this season from setbacks of course and have already beaten County 3 times.
In the last meeting at Celtic Park, the Hoops were 3-0 up within half an hour. And Sutton believes a similar target will be set by the Celtic players in the Highlands on Sunday. Speaking via the Record Celtic podcast, Chris said: “If I was in that Celtic team I would think ‘let’s look at that as a blip and let it really kick us into gear’ because of the importance of the next game against a Ross County team that will want to get into Europe. But the pressure is off them.
“It may be difficult, but go up there and play with an intensity and try to blow Ross County away within the first 30 minutes. I think that’s what the Celtic players will be thinking and what they have to do. They’ve come so far and we mustn’t forget that. I really do think that, that the team has come so far.
“Celtic fans would’ve bitten an arm off at being 6 points behind with 5 games to go at the start of the season. They’re 6 points in front. But in terms of the Celtic players’ mindset, it’s just about the next game. Win the next game and it takes them a large step closer.”
Celtic just need to win; how they do it isn’t of primary importance
Chris paints the picture of Celtic being a wounded animal ready to pounce in Dingwall on Sunday. Certainly, a big scoreline and having the game wrapped up early would be a major bonus. But the truth is if you offered every Hoops fan a 1-0 win this weekend, they would snap the hand off.
The reason being that performances at this stage of the season just don’t matter. Granted, they will to the manager who’s trying to build something for the long-term. It would also say a lot about the character of the side to come out the traps and bury County early on. But all fans care about now is 3 points.
A 1-0 win against County followed by another one-goal win against Rangers would have the supporters absolutely buzzing. That’s the reality of the situation. Celtic don’t have anything to prove to anyone this weekend. We can’t get distracted by thinking we can just roll County over in the first half-hour. There’s a bigger prize on offer here.
Not that Celtic can’t do it. They did exactly the same at Parkhead and we managed to pick up a convincing win with supporters enjoying their day in the sunshine. But with so few games to go and a lead to protect, it’s true that any win will do.
Of course, County will have their own ideas. They’ll sit deep and look to spring on the counter with the freedom of knowing that they’ve already earned their top 6 spot. Europe is still a possibility, but the pressure is off them. That can make for a dangerous opponent. Just because it can be viewed as a free hit for them doesn’t mean they’re taking a lackadaisical approach. Not with the game live on Sky Sports.
It’s difficult to know what the message will be in the pre-match build-up from the manager. Ange may very well be looking for his players to blow County away within half an hour. But from a supporter’s perspective? Just get the 3 points Celtic.