Ross County V Celtic at Victoria Park : Match Preview

25 October 2016 08:34
Ross County V Celtic - view commentary, squad, and statistics of the game live.

Jim McIntyre reckons Ross County can cause a shock against Celtic

Ross County boss Jim McIntyre is adamant his players have the confidence to produce a result against Celtic.

Celtic continued their unbeaten domestic form this season by beating Rangers in the Betfred Cup semi-final on Sunday and have only dropped two points in the Ladbrokes Premiership.

But County beat Celtic at Hampden last season on their way to lifting the League Cup and also drew at Parkhead.

And, after beating Aberdeen twice last term, McIntyre insists County are capable of pulling off a shock in Dingwall on Wednesday.

"Celtic are absolutely flying," McIntyre said. "I watched them on Sunday in the semi-final and they were excellent.

"They are creating chances at will and playing with a real energy. And the quality they have can really hurt you. So we need to be on our A-game.

"But we faced sides like that last season as well. It's so important when you're playing the Old Firm that you are set up to be difficult to break through.

"We have seen with other teams so far this season, Celtic have managed to get results against it. So it's going to be a difficult match but any game is winnable.

"You need that wee bit of luck, you need your goalie to make saves, you need to be organised, and you also need that belief that you are going to get a result.

"And we certainly have that in the dressing room. We know we are capable having produced some big results last season, and it's a chance for us to do that again."

Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers will continue to prioritise the bigger picture rather than worry about shoe-horning individuals into his team.

Rodgers was speaking in relation to the prospect of pairing Leigh Griffiths with Moussa Dembele more often after the pair combined for the winning goal against Rangers in the Betfred Cup semi-finals on Sunday.

Griffiths has not started a game for club or country since aggravating a hamstring injury against Aberdeen on August 27 with Dembele taking on the mantle of Celtic's main goalscorer.

But the Scotland international has joined Dembele for the latter stages of the last five matches, including Sunday's Hampden clash.

"It's something that worked well for us in the game," Rodgers said. "It just depends on the game.

"I'm not worried by the individuals. I've got great individual players, the job of myself and the coaching staff is to pick the best team, and the best team is going to get us the results. Up until now, it's gone okay.

"Whoever plays, they are asked to do the job and thus far they have been doing it very well."

Rodgers has been fairly consistent with his team selection in recent weeks, but he has been impressed with the way his fringe players have stepped in when required.

"I have said all along that it really will be about the squad this season," Rodgers said. "And Sunday was a great example.

"Recently Leigh hasn't played so much, Stuart Armstrong hasn't played so much, but they came straight into the game and picked up the tempo and the speed of the game straight away.

"And that's because they are working tirelessly in training, there is a real intensity into how they have been working. That gives them every chance to come into a game and perform really well.

"If we didn't have that and we didn't have the collective spirit here for the team to do well, then it would probably make it harder for us.

"But the players who haven't been playing have been a great credit to the image we are trying to create here collectively. They will get the benefits of that over the course of the season."

The Celtic manager might be tempted to make some changes against Ross County in Dingwall, given Celtic also face away games at Aberdeen and Borussia Monchengladbach in the subsequent six days.

"You always have to think about it, you are periodising your games and looking at the rest in between," the former Liverpool boss said.

"The players have been first class in their recovery strategies in order to be ready for the next game. But you have to be mindful of it, it's a long season, we have played a lot of games with many more in front of us."

Source: PAR