Yes, Newco players cheered hearing they would face Celtic in the Scottish Cup semi-final. Manager, Graeme Murty, earlier explained the legendary status awaiting those players who deliver the club’s “first” major trophy, so chances are they will have to beat Celtic at one point.
Murty has twice taken his team to Celtic Park and left with a point, moreover, Newco eliminated Celtic on penalties at the same stage of the Cup two years ago, after a 2-2 draw.
Make no mistake, this is a perfect draw for Newco. Celtic will have the league title secured well before the cup final, allowing Brendan Rodgers to rest players in preparation, should they progress that far. During those final weeks of the season, Newco, Aberdeen and Hibs will fight-out for positions 2, 3 and 4. They will not have the luxury of planning ahead for a final. If you need to beat Celtic, better to face them before the final.
Anyone who thinks all Celtic need to do is go through the motions to win this semi-final, or this weekend’s game at Ibrox, needs to be reminded of trips to Rugby Park and Tynecastle. We have had our warning shots.