Malky Mackay’s chief Ross County concern ahead of Celtic clash
Ross County boss Malky Mackay is on the crest of a wave of good form with his side as they prepare for Celtic Park tomorrow.
With 30 points in their last 20 games, the Dingwall side have emerged as the “best of the rest” in the Scottish Premiership, in terms of momentum. A horrendous start in the Highlands is the only reason Ross County aren’t higher in the league table.
However, there is something Mackay’s side are yet to do – take points from Celtic on their travels. The Hoops comfortably dealt with the Staggies last time round, winning 3-0 with a brace from Albian Ajeti. The atmosphere, especially for such a young Ross County side, would’ve been hard to deal with.
That’s what Mackay has pointed to for tomorrow’s meeting. He’s insistent that the crowd at Celtic Park can’t affect the performance of his players.
Mackay said [Press and Journal]: “When you’re walking into that environment and that cauldron, there’s all the pressure that comes with that.
“The calmer you are, the better. I’ve been in situations myself where you walk into a cup final with 70 or 80,000 people, but you have to try and stay calm.
“If you do, your performance comes out. If you don’t, it affects performance.
“I wanted to bring people here that were desperate to play against the best in full stadiums with great atmospheres. It’s where every player should want to end up, and it’s one of those where the more of those players you’ve got, the more chance we’ve got of doing well as a football club.”
Celtic supporters have a very clear objective tomorrow then: unsettle Malky Mackay’s Ross County
You don’t need to tell Celtic supporters to make noise. It’s what we do.
There’s a pretty clear reason why the Hoops have the best home record in the league [SPFL]. The backing from Celtic supporters has been incredible all season.
Jackie McNamara said to 67 Hail Hail that he’s been heartened to see Celtic fans, en masse, staying right to the end every game, because of the belief they have in Ange and the players. He isn’t wrong. So our remit is clear: unsettle Ross County as much as possible.
By doing what we always do; singing, cheering, and making it an intimidating place for Scottish opponents to visit.
We know we have the beating of Ross County at home this season. In 20-21, it was a different story – but no supporters were in, and that very obviously impacted the players. With all the best will in the world, even elite players are going to be affected by poor or non-existent atmosphere in stadia.
That was a different time. This game has been sold out for weeks. And Mackay is trying to challenge his players to meet the atmosphere at Celtic Park head on when Ross County visit tomorrow.
Our job is simple – overwhelm them.