The Scottish Mail on Sunday
Clyde No 2 Moore is hoping to help mastermind yet another big upset
IT’S almost four years since Celtic lost a domestic cup tie but experience will tell Neil Lennon not to dismiss Clyde’s chances of an upset this afternoon.
Lots has been made of the champions’ defeat at Broadwood on the day debutants Roy Keane and Du Wei shared in the embarrassment of one of the club’s worst-ever results.
Lennon played that day but the memories of 2006 are less relevant to today’s match than those stoked by the sight of the two men who occupy the home dugout.
The current Clyde manager, Lennon’s namesake Danny, was in charge of the St Mirren team that consigned Celtic to a
League Cup semi-final defeat in early 2013 and ultimately lifted the trophy.
A few months later, his assistant Allan Moore pulled off an even greater trick, guiding struggling Championship side Morton to a win at Celtic Park in the same competition.
Just as that night arguably stands as the low point of Lennon’s first stint in charge of Celtic, for Moore — who had taken Morton to the brink of promotion the year before — it was a last hurrah.
Just a few weeks after watching a Dougie Imrie penalty defeat a team containing the likes of Virgil van Dijk and Scott Brown in extra-time, he was sacked.
‘You do need a bit of luck to beat a team like Celtic,’ recalled Moore. ‘I remember that night with Morton and we had to hang on.
‘I looked up at the scoreboard with two minutes to go and it felt like two hours until the final whistle went. And then we had extra-time!
‘Celtic always seem to get a goal from somewhere but you have to believe. We did and we got the penalty that night.
‘The club has been here before, and so have Danny and I. The omens are good.
‘We’ve both done it against Celtic in the past but we have to be mindful of how good a football team they are — it was a bit scary sitting watching them against St Johnstone last week and again at Motherwell on Wednesday.
‘But I thought Hamilton did well against them while they had 11 men on the pitch last weekend. They had a go, put two up top and took the lead. So maybe there’s a wee lesson in there for us.’
After leaving Morton, Moore went on to manage Arbroath before settling into a full-time role as a lecturer at Cumbernauld College.
Clyde’s proximity to the college made Lennon’s offer of a return to the game appealing and the two have made for a harmonious double act. Together, they led the club to promotion from League Two last season and, although the present campaign has been about consolidation, Moore contends that the manager retains lofty ambitions.
‘Danny is probably the best tactician I have worked with in my career,’ he explained. ‘I’m more of a hands-on, man-manager type while Danny looks at the tactical side.
‘He values my opinion and we often find ourselves finishing each other’s sentences, so the relationship is good.
‘This tie is an opportunity for him to remind everyone of what he can do. He is ambitious and he could obviously coach at a higher level, but I think he has a long-term plan to take Clyde back to the top.
‘I’m here for him at Clyde but whether I would move back into full-time football with my job at the college, I’m not sure.’
The guaranteed income from today’s match allowed Clyde to strengthen with the acquisition of two loan signings from the Premiership.
Forward Ross Cunningham has joined from Hamilton, while Motherwell defender Adam Livingstone has also been acquired in time for today’s game.
Those two should enhance Clyde’s prospects but, while Celtic are expected to rest a few first-choice players, that longstanding cup record — 32 games undefeated and counting — makes a home win unlikely.
‘The money we’ll make from this tie will help us over the next season or two but I think the club’s preference would be to draw and get a replay!’ laughed Moore. ‘That’s not how we’re thinking, of course. We want to win and the tempo in training through the week has been frightening.
‘Obviously, the prospect of the game was one reason but by bringing in Ross and Adam I think everyone has had a lift.
‘You could tell something was not quite right when we lost to Forfar last weekend. But we seem to play better against teams that play football.
‘These players may never get a chance to play in a game like this again.’