Selfish Ambitions For Celtic
Celtic have their own targets to aim for so are no mood to be generous to any team they face. The SPL champions are three points behind rivals Rangers, who have a game in hand, in the race to the SPL title. The Parkhead side will want to bounce back from the Scottish Cup defeat at the hands of Aberdeen in midweek so will be unwilling to have much sympathy for today's opponents Gretna. Midfielder Paul Hartley has recovered from a virus which meant he missed the midweek defeat. He is in no mood to be sympathetic to Gretna and is focused only on getting the win that will keep the pressure on SPL leaders Rangers.
Hartley said: "We have no sympathy for anybody. We are just going to try and win the game. That is the most important thing for us. The players are still feeling good. I watched the game against Aberdeen and we created a lot of chances but we couldn't get that break and sometimes that's what happens. It would have been a different story if we had converted one of the chances. It was a disappointing result but it's how you bounce back from disappointments. We've got to keep playing the way we've been playing and when we get chances hopefully they'll go in. We have got a good group of players, we remain positive and we look forward to Sunday. We know we are in a fight to keep the championship but we are more than determined that we can achieve something. We can only look after ourselves and try to win as many games as possible. We know we still have to play Rangers three times so there is still a lot to play for."
Of course, a wounded animal is a dangerous opponent and the Gretna players will want to be on top form so that, if the worst comes to the worst and they have to find new clubs, they are attractive to potential new employers. Hartley went on: "First and foremost, it's crucial that we win against Gretna. Obviously, they will make it difficult for us although we don't know what team we are going to come up against. But we have to be very professional and try and win the match. They have made it difficult for a few teams this season. You don't become a bad team overnight, which is what some people are suggesting.''
Ger Harley (ger@scottishfitba net)
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