When it comes to Celtic matches against Rangers, you look for every advantage you can get. This is even more the case when the teams are competing in a cup final, which they will be on Sunday at Hampden Park.
Celtic could gain a unique cup final advantage thanks to one of their current members of staff. Celtic youth coach Stephen McManus has done something that no other player that is at Celtic has – that is, captain the side to a cup final win over Rangers.
Last man to captain Hoops to cup final derby win
McManus captained Celtic in their 2-0 league cup final win over Rangers in 2009. Not even Scott Brown or Neil Lennon managed to achieve that feat. Brown played in that final, but wasn’t captain, whilst Celtic never defeated Rangers in a final during Lennon’s time as a player with the Hoops.
McManus could be Celtic’s secret weapon for the cup final and here is why: he will be able to explain to the current Hoops players what it means to captain a cup winning team against Rangers, and the pride he felt at that moment.
Could perhaps speak to players ahead of cup final
Perhaps it would be a good idea to let McManus give a ‘pep talk’ of sorts to the players ahead of kick-off on Sunday. His words could gee up the players, as the Hoops aim to win their 1oth domestic trophy in a row.
McManus could also speak to Scott Brown before the game, as although Brown has won it all for Celtic domestically, he has yet to captain the Hoops to a cup triumph over Rangers. Once more, McManus could offer some advice to Brown about what that is like.
It might be a bit of a left-field suggestion to get McManus involved but it could pay off. His experience of winning a cup final derby as Hoops captain is something that should not be taken for granted. It should be valued, and will hopefully help Celtic win the Betfred Cup in 2019.