Hamilton Accies defender Scott McMann has opened up on his “terrible” Parkhead experience.
Back in early December, Celtic struggled to break Hamilton down for long spells at Celtic Park. Ryan Christie’s early goal wasn’t added to and Parkhead grew in frustration whilst Accies’ confidence rose.
Fraser Forster was forced into making several stops before Marios Ogboe rattled home a 90th-minute equaliser. It looked as though Hamilton were set to take their first points from Parkhead since 2014. Thankfully, Scott Brown popped up to score the winner and ensure we stayed top of the table.
McMann has been reflecting on that one ahead of today’s clash between Accies and Celtic. Speaking in the Evening Express, the Accies man was clearly gutted about how things panned out:
“The way the game at Parkhead ended was terrible. Just when you think you’ve got the point, they take it away from you in the last minute. But that’s what champions do – they go to the end.
“I’ve had a few bitter experiences against the Old Firm but that one was right up there. For the work we put into that game, to have it taken away in those circumstances was devastating.
“But it’s not hard to keep the belief that you can get something from the games against the big two. Apart from the one at Ibrox this season, we’ve been in the games until the last kick of the ball, near enough. So I definitely think we can get something against Celtic. We just need to apply ourselves and make it hard for them.”
Celtic have something to prove on Hamilton’s plastic
Historically, Hamilton’s Foys’ Stadium has proved a successful venue for us. Indeed, Celtic have won 10 of our last 12 visits there, with the other two ending in stalemates (Fussball Wettpoint).
Yet Hamilton, for some reason, have proved stuffier for us this season to break down. In our first game in South Lanarkshire, James Forrest slotted home after four minutes and that was that. Blair Alston and Alex Gogic both had big chances to level for Accies.
Celtic just couldn’t get going, and even though we dominated with 74% possession (BBC), it was largely pedestrian and in front of the Accies defence.
Back at Parkhead it was the same story but with a couple of twists. Once again we bossed it with 67% of the ball (BBC). Yet, once again, we were wasteful and allowed Hamilton to gain confidence. Lewis Smith, Sam Stubbs, Scott Martin, and George Oakley all had chances before Ogboe’s equaliser.
Against Hamilton, that’s too many sights of goal for us to allow. We don’t want to be struggling come the hour mark to put this game to bed today. You can see why McMann has some confidence when you look back on those previous encounters.
It remains to be seen if things turn out differently today. However, with Rangers drawing 0-0 with Aberdeen yesterday, we shouldn’t be struggling for motivation to turn on the style.