WE CAN GIVE CELTS SCARE
Holt’s rallying cry as champions come calling
Livingston boss Gary Holt says Celtic won’t get it all their own way when the champions visit West Lothian on Sunday.
The Glasgow side are in emphatic form after a slightly shaky start to the season and go into the clash on the back of a 5-0 trouncing of league leaders Hearts last weekend.
Despite that, Holt is confident his Lions will make the visitors earn everything they get at the sold-out Tony Macaroni Arena.
Speaking to the Courier, the former Scotland international said: “This club has worked really hard to get to this level and earn the right to be hosting teams like Celtic in front of a full house and we need to go out there and embrace the fact that we’re now at that level.
“Why would we suddenly get worried about it being against Celtic or the fact that it’s live on TV? Let’s embrace it, let’s have a go and show what we can do.
“We’ll roll up our sleeves and give it our best shot. We know it’s going to be tough, we know we’re going to have to be at our best, but let’s have a go and see what happens.
“We’re playing against a team that has won back-to-back trebles and could very well do it again this year, but there’s nothing to fear. This game isn’t going to define our season.
“Yes, we want to do well and yes we want to win the game or at least take something out of it. But the one thing I know is that come the end of the 90 minutes, Celtic will know they’ve been in a game.”
He added: “We want them to know they’ve had to fight for whatever they get and that they’ve been in a tough game. I’m not having folk going into their shell and not giving it everything.”
The Lions go into the clash on the back of consecutive defeats, but Holt believes the confidence of his players hasn’t taken a dip, saying: “Obviously we don’t like losing games but we need to be the same in terms of ability and confidence going into every game because we can’t afford to not be at 100 per cent or all doom and gloom.
“We were poor against St Johnstone but on Saturday against Hamilton we were 100 per cent at it and tried to win the game. We played with confidence and ability.
“We created plenty of chances and really lost the game to a poor goal from our point of view – but that’s the fine lines at this level.
“As an away team, we were on the front foot and just didn’t take our chances. Sometimes, that’s just football.
“I can’t fault them for their effort, whereas against St Johnstone there was something lacking. It seemed like folk were maybe waiting on somebody else doing something, but there was none of that on Saturday.
“I feel for the lads because they actually played really well but these things happen.
“Myself and the coaching staff need to make sure that we set the environment that allows them to bounce back and keep that confidence.”
Livingston go into Sunday’s noon kick- off clash without long- term injured attacking trio of Ryan Hardie, Lee Miller and Raffaele de Vita but have an otherwise fully fit squad.
Big plans Gary Holt says his Livi team will be ready for Celts