CARETAKER gaffer John Kennedy has urged Celtic fans to stay away from Parkhead a week today when the third Glasgow derby of the season is due for a midday kick-off.

The club have sent out a clear message that they want their supporters to stay at home, remain safe and watch the action on TV.

Kennedy repeated the wishes of the Hoops who want the fans to continue following the current government Covid restrictions.

The former central defender, who was put in charge until the end of the season following Neil Lennon’s exit last month, said: “For us, and for everyone, it’s about staying at home, being safe and sticking to the rules and legislation that’s in place.

“It’s difficult for everyone, it’s a difficult period for society as a whole, but especially surrounding the game, and the attention it brings, we want to make sure everyone does the right thing and stays at home and keeps everybody safe.”

With the country in lockdown, the Hoops support have been forced to watch from home as the club achieved the record-equalling ninth successive title and completed the unprecedented quadruple treble with the Scottish Cup Final penalty-kick shoot-out triumph over Hearts five days before Christmas.

Kennedy paid tribute to the club’s followers and, speaking to the Celtic website, continued: “It’s been difficult and, even in-house and feeling it for the players not being able to celebrate with the fans.

“In the previous seasons, we’ve celebrated league titles, celebrating trebles, especially coming back from Hampden with the crowds around the stadium. That’s what football’s about, that’s what Celtic is about, celebrating together and enjoying the good times.

“In terms of this last year, we’ve had nine-in-a-row and the quadruple treble, and it’s been difficult not being able to celebrate that success together.

“So, credit to them. It’s been a massive loss to us this season not having them. They give us so much support, both around the games and in the stadiums, but that’s something we’ve just had to face up to and, hopefully, in the near future, we’ll get everyone back where they belong, and that’s inside the stadium and celebrating and working together again.”

The focus for Kennedy and his players in now on getting a win in the forthcoming fixture against the Ibrox club, but the interim boss once again emphasised the importance of the fans giving the team their support and backing from home.

He added: “That’s the message from us – stay safe, stay at home, be with your families and enjoy the game on TV.”


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