TOM BOYD, the last Parkhead captain to win a treble, believes there is only one team that can stop the Hoops from emulating his feat in 2000/01 – CELTIC!
The former international defender insists no-one can live with Brendan Rodgers’ side as they power towards a silverware clean sweep.
But he also acknowledged they could be in trouble if they let their standards drop.
Boyd said: “Celtic are looking very good, which is probably an understatement. They really deserve to be where they are.
“They’re unbeaten so far because no one has been able to get the better of them. That’s down to their quality and how they’ve dominated matches.
“They’ve been outstanding this season under the influence of the manager.
“Throughout a campaign, a team can under-perform on occasion. Generally, that can happen, but I can’t think of any games this season that they have been lucky to win.
“They have all been deserved wins and the ones they have drawn, the Rangers (sic) game would be one where the level of performance would make that the right result on that day.
“It wasn’t as commanding from Celtic that day as it has been throughout the rest of the season.
“So, it would need them to drop their standards for anyone to beat them and I don’t think this is something the manager is going to be doing anytime yet.”
The next fortnight is set to highlight the marked difference in the attitude under Rodgers and Ronny Deila 12 months ago.
Last season, the Hoops were there for the taking in their Scottish Cup semi-final against Mark Warburton’s side.
The woodwork rescued the Ibrox side twice, but Deila’s men let themselves down in the penalty shoot-out after the 2-2 extra-time stalemate with Scott Brown, Callum McGregor and Tom Rogic all missing from the spot.
When they go in against their great rivals on the same stage on Sunday week, Rodgers’ team are likely to be firing on all cylinders.
Boyd reckons the influence of the Irishman has paid dividends and added: “Hearts were really up for it against Celtic at the start recently and tested Craig Gordon on a couple of occasions.
“But then a small tactical switch from the manager had an immediate impact with Scott Sinclair’s opening goal after moving his position slightly.
“The manager makes changes and they have an impact. Certainly, the matches I’ve seen this season when they haven’t had strikers.
“Sinclair and Patrick Roberts were switched in a previous game against Hearts and Celtic got a goal almost immediately.
“It shows you someone who knows the game and is clued-up to make the sort of changes that influence a game and aren’t just for the sake of it.
“He doesn’t do that and it’s great to have a manager of the quality who can influence matches at the start of games and also during them to change the course of the match.
“He knows how to handle the teams in Scotland and how to tweak things if it’s not quite happening.
“It’ll take a massive drop in the quality of the players at Celtic for them to lose.
“Mikael Lustig played a pass up the line against Hearts, trying to fire it to Callum McGregor, and it was a couple of feet wide of him.
“The manager was raging and that just shows he won’t let standards drop for the team.
“That’s because it would be a massive achievement, not just to win the league, but to then go on and go through the season unbeaten.
“That’s an incredible ask, but when you see performances and the way they change from defence to attack and quality of the goals and finishing, it would take Celtic to be really off their game for an opponent to have an opportunity to win.”
IN THE HEAT OF LISBON BOOK & JOCK STEIN T-SHIRT OFFER
Time is running out to take advantage of our great launch offer on our new book and t-shirt which celebrate Celtic’s historic success in Lisbon 50 years ago next month.
There’s been some great books released about Lisbon in the past year, but there’s something extra special about In The Heat of Lisbon.
It’s a book written by 3 Celtic supporters who outline the supporter experience and capture what it was like to have been a Celtic supporter in the 66/67 season.
We wanted that aspect of Lisbon covered and are very happy with the way this book has turned out. But the unique aspect is something else, the profits from this book – and the t-shirt – are to be used to thank the Celtic players from 66/67 on behalf of the Celtic support.
The book is priced at £14.99 as indeed is the Jock Stein, Lisbon inspired t-shirt. However if you order now you can get both for just £19.67.
Hundreds of CQNers have already ordered theirs so you are going to see the t-shirt at games and at Lions events next month.
You can order your book and t-shirt for just £19.67 from www.cqnbookstore.com