Be­ware of wounded cham­pi­ons, warns Fox

The Herald - Herald Sport - - LADBROKES PREMIERSHIP - DEREK MILLER

SCOTT FOX, the Ross County goal­keeper, ex­pects to face an on­slaught at Park­head to­mor­row as Celtic en­deav­our to bounce back from their dam­ag­ing de­feat in the semi-fi­nals of the Wil­liam Hill Scot­tish Cup to Rangers.

The Lad­brokes Premier­ship cham­pi­ons have been through a trau­matic week since that loss with man­ager Ronny Deila re­veal­ing that he is to leave at the end of the sea­son af­ter fail­ing to achieve the progress he de­sired.

How­ever, the Nor­we­gian still has a ti­tle to re­tain over the clos­ing five matches of the cam­paign and Fox, a for­mer Celtic player, ex­pects a tor­rid time when he reap­pears be­fore the pub­lic for the first time since declar­ing his fu­ture in­ten­tions.

“Celtic will be down and they will be wounded, so we know it’s go­ing to be a hard game,” said Fox.

“They are prob­a­bly go­ing to come out in the first 10 or 15 min­utes and try to get a few goals and make it com­fort­able for them­selves.

“It’s our job to stay strong and try to put them back un­der more pres­sure.”

Rangers’ tri­umph by way of a penalty shootout means Scot­land’s third Europa League slot will go to the win­ner of their May 21 show­down with fel­low fi­nal­ists Hiber­nian rather than the team fin­ish­ing fourth in the Premier­ship.

That has left County, St John­stone and Mother­well de­flated as they pre­pare for their fi­nal five games of the sea­son, but, af­ter bat­tling into the top six, Jim McIn­tyre’s League Cup win­ners can still clinch their high­est ever top-flight fin­ish.

“No­body goes out to lose a game of foot­ball and we want to win as many games as we pos­si­bly can be­tween now and the end of the sea­son,” said Fox.

“If you look at what we’ve done this sea­son, we’ve set goals and gone on to achieve them. Now, the pres­sure is off and we can go en­joy it more.”

County are with­out sus­pended pair An­drew Davies and Martin Woods. Jack­son Irvine, a for­mer Celtic youth player, will re­turn to the squad af­ter spend­ing a month out with an an­kle prob­lem.

Pic­ture: SNS

READY FOR AC­TION: Scott Fox knows he is in for a busy shift as Celtic look to take out some frus­tra­tion from their Old Firm cup de­feat.

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