CELTIC great John ‘Yogi’ Hughes will never forget the impact Jock Stein had on the club when he arrived in March 1965.

And the club’s seventh-highest scorer in history with 189 goals hopes it will be something similar this time around.

In another CQN EXCLUSIVE, Big Yogi, speaking to author Alex Gordon, said: “Just like today, Celtic needed a good shake-up back in the mid-sixties.

“We were a team going nowhere. We hadn’t won a trophy for eight years and were never title contenders after the turn of the year. Our best hopes of any silverware rested in the domestic Cup competitions and that’s where we had our last triumph, the 7-1 League Cup hammering of Rangers.

“Despite what you might hear, I was too young to play in that one, much as I would have loved to have been in a line-up that turned over our Glasgow neighbours.

“Big Jock changed all that the moment he came in the door. It’s fairly well documented that the manager and I didn’t always see eye-to-eye, but that doesn’t make me think any less of his qualities.

“Quite rightly, he is acknowledged as a legend and I would not disagree with that. He deserves every last shred of credit that goes his way.

“I may not always have appreciated the way he went about things, but he got the job done, no argument about that.”

Hughes, now 78, added: “Big Jock was ruthless and we must hope the new man has the same outlook. My old gaffer never set out to win popularity contests among his players.

“He had tunnel vision when it came to success for Celtic. That was all that bothered him, everything else was a sideshow.

“The manager came into the club, grabbed it by the neck and gave it a good shake. If he thought you were not up to the task of playing your part there was a quick solution – the exit.

“Players very quickly disappeared off the radar. We had a midfielder by the name of Hugh Maxwell who had been signed by previous gaffer Jimmy McGrory from Falkirk shortly before Big Jock fetched up.

“He was played in two games, Celtic lost them both to St Johnstone and Dunfermline and that was the end of Maxwell’s career at Parkhead. Just like that. See what I mean about ruthless? However, having said that, we must hope the new man has that same burning desire to make this club successful.

“He should take no prisoners, he shouldn’t worry about upsetting players’ sensitivities.

“If he needs any inspiration, he only needs to hve a glance at Big Jock’s record.”

* TOMORROW: Don’t miss another Big Yogi Special – only in your champion CQN.


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