New Scottish Premiership boss says he doesn't fear Celtic

By John McGinley

June 17, 2022

New Hibernian manager Lee Johnson is relishing the opportunity to go up against Celtic in big matches at Celtic Park and Easter Road this season, insisting he’ll have no fear facing Ange Postecoglou’s side.

Johnson is one of the new characters on the scene in the Scottish Premiership this term. In fact, you may not be all that familiar with him.

His entire coaching career has so far taken place in England with management jobs at Oldham Athletic, Barnsley, Bristol City and Sunderland.

However, he did have brief spells in Scotland as a player, featuring for both Hearts and Kilmarnock as a midfielder.

Photo by Chris Vaughan – CameraSport via Getty Images

It’s that experience that he reckons has prepared him for matches against the likes of Celtic and Rangers.

Speaking to Sky Sports earlier today, he was asked about going to Celtic Park and Ibrox over the coming season following the announcement of today’s fixture list.

Johnson said: “The players need clarity and if they have that clarity in the playing style it enables them to bring out the best version of themselves in the match.

“I was lucky to play in the big games up here and I managed to beat Celtic with Kilmarnock twice and Rangers away. I don’t have that feeling of fear going into the games.

Celtic given big early opportunity as the Premiership fixtures are released | 67HH LIVE

Celtic given big early opportunity as the Premiership fixtures are released | 67HH LIVE

“You want to try and get that across to the players as well. I’m sure they will, there’s lots of experienced guys in the squad like David Marshall who you wouldn’t expect to be fazed. In fact, it’ll excite him.

“It’s the younger players that are the risk but often they have no fear because they haven’t experienced a big loss in a game like that.”

This is exactly the kind of talk Johnson should be coming out with of course. Hibs fans don’t want to hear a manager sound defeated before they play the Glasgow teams.

Nonetheless, it’ll be interesting to hear his thoughts after facing the Bhoys given Celtic have re-taken control of the fixture under Postecoglou.

Photo by Ian Jacobs/MB Media

We beat Hibs three out of four times last season, including in the Scottish League Cup final and twice at Celtic Park.

They’ll have their work cut out to compete against us over the coming campaign. But that’s the beauty of the Premiership – we can never be complacent when teams come at us with a defiant attitude.

In other news, Ange Postecoglou’s brilliant Celtic Champions League promise.