WELCOME once again, folks, to CQN’s EXCLUSIVE feature which will appear here every Saturday.

‘ALEX’S ANGLE’ will go behind the headlines with Alex Gordon, the former Sports Editor of the Sunday Mail and Chief Sports Sub-Editor of the Daily Record when they were the biggest sellers in Scotland.

The veteran newsman will reveal some tales from his journey through the inky trade while giving his view on current topics.

Here is Alex’s latest EXCLUSIVE CQN column.

Please enjoy.

ONE Celtic player suffered so badly from nerves that he regularly sat in the loo while Jock Stein delivered his pre-match speech.

I won’t embarrass the individual by naming him, but I can assure you the unlikely setting of a cubicle in the dressing room toilet was this individual’s natural habitat before a big game.

Jock used to have to speak up to make sure his player could hear his instructions prior to kick-off.

Lisbon Lion Tommy Gemmell told me the story and laughed: “You wouldn’t have believed that bloke suffered from excessive anxiety, would you?”

Frankly, I was amazed because the chap in question consistently went about his match day role with a nonchalant ease which exuded confidence as he rarely broke sweat. Witnessing him strutting his stuff in the heat of hectic activity it was unfeasible to conjure images of a nervous wreck only moments earlier.

HOLDING HIS TONGUE…Ange Postecoglou is wary of loose talk.

Somehow, magically, he must have undergone an extraordinary metamorphosis on his way from the changing quarters, down the tunnel and onto the pitch as he somehow overcame the butterflies and stress.

Not everyone is so fortunate in defeating the jitters. There will be a few in both camps at Hampden tomorrow afternoon who will have been more than a tad apprehensive in the countdown to the grand finale.

Some deal wth the collywobbles in their own way. Some may seem just a little too brash as they appear to be trying to convince themselves as much as anyone else when they start mouthing off.

A lot of it, of course, is merely hot air and bravado. There is no hiding place once the ball has taken a solitary revolution as the confrontation gets underway; that’s when the talking has to stop.

Action, as we are all aware, always speaks louder than words.

The Celtic players have maintained a dignified counsel over the past few days. There have been no “other mob” remarks which smack of desperate quest for self-importance while displaying a pathetic lack of respect.

I doubt if Ange Postecoglou has lost a wink of sleep in recent evenings. What has he to prove by getting involved in such churlish, mindless speech play?

He is the manager of Celtic, the reigning Premiership champions and the team who currently sit at the pinnacle with a nine-point and colossal goals-scored advantage. Plus they are holders of the League Cup which is the prize for both sets of combatants at the national stadium tomorrow.

We must hope there is no sign of stage-fright from any of the performers in green-and-white hooped shirts.

However, you can be sure the heebie-jeebies may well betray the nervousness in the play of other less gifted individuals.

More often that not, empty vessels do not have the final say.

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