21 Jan Rodgers’ team close to O’Neill’s
Albion Rovers boss Darren Young believes Brendan Rodgers is assembling the best Celtic side in almost two decades.
The Hoops are unbeaten domestically this season, having dropped only two points in 20 Ladbrokes Premiership games with the Betfred Cup already in the trophy room.
Rodgers’ men are odds-on to get their William Hill Scottish Cup campaign off to a winning start when they face the League One outfit in the fourth round at Airdrie’s Excelsior stadium on Sunday.
And former Aberdeen and Dunfermline midfielder Young insists the Parkhead side remind him of the successful team put together by Martin O’Neill when he was Hoops manager between 2000 and 2005, a side which won, among other things, the domestic treble in 2001 and which reached the UEFA Cup final in 2003.
“They are probably getting back to where they were when they had players like Chris Sutton, Henrik Larsson, Neil Lennon, Stan Petrov and Paul Lambert.
“You are probably going back to those days, with the quality of players they have got there.
“They are a good bit ahead of everybody domestically, that’s for sure.
“They have just spent £2.8million on a player (Kouassi Eboue) and will he start every week? Probably not, with the way Scott Brown and Stuart Armstrong are playing just now.
“It is good for them, they are improving and getting better all the time.
“You go out with a game plan and limit them to as few chances as possible.
“At the same time we have ideas and situations we want to try to put into play when we have the ball, whether it is set-pieces or counter attack, we will look to use that to our advantage and try to get ourselves up the park and get shots at goal.”
Asked if a Rovers victory would be the biggest cup shock of all time, Young said: ” Yes, it would definitely be up there. A part-time team against a full-time team who have not been beaten by anyone in Scotland.
“It is a showcase for these guys to showcase their talents and maybe get a move to a bigger team and they can improve, progress and go up the ladder.
“I am probably in the same boat myself. You want to test yourself against these guys.”