IF BRENDAN RODGERS decides to replace Joe Hart with Luis Palma at some stage of this evening’s game against Dundee, the Celtic support would have every right to raise an eyebrow in surprise.

It would be a fairly unusual substitution, no argument about that, but those same fans might just give the manager some time to see if the switch actually works.

The section of the crowd at Fir Park on Sunday who booed the 77th-minute changeover of Tomoki Iwata and Paulo Bernardo perhaps later pondered the wisdom of their unreasonable spontaneous combustion as Rodgers’ decision helped transform a 1-1 scoreline into a 3-1 victory.

Maybe those followers might have realised their jeers were pathetically misplaced.

Maybe I’ll find sunken treasure at the bottom of my bath.

WELL DONE…Brendan Rodgers is all smiles after leading Celtic to a 3-1 win over Motherwell.

If there is anyone out there playing with only half a deck who believes booing one of your own players onto the pitch is a splendid idea, then I genuinely feel for them. I would also question their motives.

I am delighted to say their idea of supporting their team does not coincide with mine. Long may that continue.

I recall a Scottish Cup Final on May 18 1985 when Celtic were playing Jim McLean’s formidable Dundee United side.

Davie Hay was in his second year as the club’s manager and had drawn a blank in his debut campaign. The silverware at Hampden that afternoon was his only chance at winning his first trophy as Billy McNeill’s successor.

It was goalless at the interval, but the deadlock was broken in the 55th minute when Stuart Beedie got clear to whip a low shot past the stranded Pat Bonner.

Ten minutes later, Hay replaced Tommy Burns with Brian McClair. The future Celtic gaffer wasn’t happy at his removal from proceedings and, as he made his way to the dug-out, muttered something in the ear of his team boss.

Hay politely informed his gifted midfielder to sit on his backside and shut up. Or words to that effect.

CHEERS…Davie Hay celebrates the memorable 1985 Scottish Cup triumph.

With Tannadice still looking the most likely destination for the main prize, Paul McStay was taken off with Pierce O’Leary coming on in his place in the 75th minute. The Celtic fans in the 60,346 crowd that day would have been forgiven for wondering if their club’s manager had blown a gasket.

Replacing both his main playmakers – the forceful Murdo MacLeod made up the mid-three – was both puzzling and perplexing. The supporters considered why Hay would take off his side’s most inspirational middle-of-the-park performer in McStay and replace him with a centre-half in O’Leary.

Thankfully, there was not a catcall or any form of verbal abuse or even a mild heckle to be heard from the terracings at the national stadium. The followers put their trust in the manager to make the hard decisions.

Hay told me later he reasoned Roy Aitken would be of more worth to the team further up the pitch with his distinctive brand of dynamism and thrust. He released the powerhouse from his defensive duties and lined up O’Leary alongside Tom McAdam in the middle of the rearguard.

Two minutes after the second change, Davie Provan flashed in the equaliser with a sublime free-kick.

Six minutes remained when Aitken surged down the right wing, fired in a near-post cross and Frank McGarvey somehow corkscrewed in mid-air to get his head to the ball to thump an effort wide of the helpless Hamish McAlpine.

And that was how the 1985 Scottish Cup was won. The Celtic support made all their noise after the final whistle.

That was when they really had something to shout about.



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