Match 6 of 6 in January: Ross County v Celtic

Ronny Deila will be looking to complete a 100% record in January by recording a sixth straight victory. Ross County stand in the way of that and a place in the Scottish League Cup final place at Hampden Park this afternoon.

Celtic are the current holders and will be looking to reach the final once more as they pursue a long-awaited treble. This is a hugely important match for both teams and Ross County will be wondering if they can dump Celtic out of a cup competition again.

You couldn’t blame them for thinking that either. Back in 2010, when Neil Lennon stepped in as caretaker, County beat Celtic in the semi finals of the Scottish Cup.

It brought an end to a dismal season for Celtic, largely under the inept management of Tony Mowbray. For County this was an unbelievable feat regardless of Celtic’s situation at the time.

Ronny Deila won’t be thinking about that though. He has watched his players step things up in the last four weeks.

After a defeat at home to Motherwell and a draw away at Hearts in late December, Celtic have had better fortune in January. The timing of this couldn’t be better with three trophies on their radar.

Off the field Celtic are still recruiting, with Patrick Roberts the latest loan signing for Ronny Deila. There are mixed views about another loan deal but this is the market Celtic are operating in and have him on a longer term.

Whilst the club have significantly better finances to any other Scottish club, they are out of their depth in the wider market. Because of that, you need to appreciate these short-term signings.

Short term commitment is about as much as the club can afford. Some fans still seem to think otherwise.

You can’t guarantee all of your acquisitions will work out but at least with loan signings there is no long-term commitment. For Ronny Deila it has been a mixed success with both loanees and purchases.

However, it is fair to say he has seen the best come from two youth players so far. Callum McGregor and Kieran Tierney are both players the Head Coach has given an opportunity to and not been let down.

With the right blend of youth and experience, Ronny might just get what he promised us, next season. The Champions League remains a target for then but as for today, it is all about getting past a resolute Ross County and into the League Cup Final.

I said at the beginning of the month that if Celtic could win all six matches in January, it would be a massive boost for their treble chances. We’ll see what today brings.

Hail! Hail!

Stevie Mac

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