Beware of wounded champions, warns Fox
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.
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.