CHRIS SUTTON reckons it would be “remarkable” if Celtic won the Scottish Cup to place beside the Premier Sports League Cup in the Parkhead trophy cabinet.
However, the Hoops former striker insists it would be “sensational” if Ange Postecoglou led the team to the Premiership title to complete the silverware clean sweep in his debut campaign as manager.
The Greek-Australian gaffer has prepared his players for this afternoon’s Premiership meeting with Ross County in the east end of Glasgow with the opportunity to go six points clear with seven league games to play.
Postecoglou can take advantage of their nearest challengers, Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s Ibrox side, who have a day off before they play relegation-threatened Dundee at Dens Park tomorrow with a noon kick-off.
HAMPDEN ROARING SUCCESS…Ange Postecoglou with the newly-won League Cup in December.
The teams will, of course, meet in Govan a fortnight tomorrow in a crunch confrontation that will almost certainly go a long way to the eventual destination of the flag.
And then they lock horns again two weeks afterwards in the Scottish Cup semi-final as football gets ready for a grand finale to an extraordinary season.
Postecoglou presided over three league defeats – at Tynecastle, Ibrox and Livingston – in his first six league outings, but has masterminded an incredible somersault in fortunes for his rebuilt squad.
Sutton said: “We’re going into a period when we could have three Celtic v Rangers matches in the space of a few weeks. Bring it on.
“It was inevitable the big two would eventually collide as we got towards the time when the prizes get handed out and no-one can say it won’t be box office.
“We had a one-sided league for a decade and it was the same in reverse last term when Rangers ran away with it.
“Now we have a title race that is heading down to the wire and a Scottish Cup semi-final to look forward to, as well.
“Anything could happen, though. Both sides could conceivably win big and that’s not far off what it was like back in my day when it was two right good sides banging heads for the major honours.
ROCKETMEN…the Celtic players celebrate their silverware success over Hibs at Hampden six days before Christmas.
“From Celtic’s point of view, they can’t pay any attention to what Rangers are doing in Europe.
“Fair play to them for what they are doing, but my old club need to focus on what they themselves are doing.”
Sutton, speaking to the Daily Record, continued: “No-one in their right mind would have predicted Celtic would be in this position back in September.
“But they’ve put together a serious run of form where they have managed to pick up results in all kinds of ways.
“It’s not all been flashy, swashbuckling football. But that’s okay, that’s what it takes to win titles. They are in with a chance this year and that’s more than most expected.
“The Cup double would still be a success. A league and Cup double would be remarkable.
“And the treble would be absolutely SENSATIONAL – especially when you consider where Celtic have come from.”
AT THE DOUBLE…Reo Hatate acknowledges the cheers of the Celtic fans as he celebrates his first goal in the 3-0 win in the Glasgow derby in February.
One-time England international attacker Sutton added: “Ange Postecoglou doesn’t shy away from it, either.
“Usually, when managers get asked about trebles, they run a mile from it.
“Postecoglou hasn’t shouted from the rooftops about winning the clean sweep, but he has admitted it’s there for his side. That’s about as bold as it gets from a manager of Celtic or Rangers.
“In fairness to him, however, he’s never wavered in what he’s said all season. It’s always about being focused on performance rather than results – as one leads to the other – and he’s insisted he won’t change a thing for the run-in.
“Why should he?
“Postecoglou’s principles have got Celtic to where they are right now – bang in the frame for the treble. Whether he gets there or falls short remains to be seen, but everyone can see the direction the club are going in.”
* DON’T miss the unbeatable match report from Celtic v Ross County this afternoon – only in your champion CQN.