BY ALAN TEMPLE
Albion Rovers midfielder Kevin McCann admits he is relishing a reunion with Celtic captain Scott Brown in next month’s money-spinning Scottish Cup clash.
Former Hibs player McCann helped the League One part-time outfit overcome Queen of the South on Tuesday to set-up a mouth-watering fourth round tie against Brendan Rodgers’ side.
The 29-year-old was part of a Hibs side that beat the Hoops in the top-flight in 2007 when Brown was on target for the Leith team and this time McCann is hoping he can play his part in leaving his old team-mate and Celtic shell-shocked when the visit Cliftonhill in January.
McCann said: “It will be good to go up against Scott, I actually bumped into him during pre-season, I asked him how things were going at Celtic and he said it was brilliant under the new manager, that he felt a new lease of life.
“He is reaping the rewards now, he is back playing with Scotland and he is arguably playing the best football of his career, he answered a lot of his critics from last season as well.
“He’s been immense this season and it wouldn’t surprise me if he was up there for player of the year.
“Scott actually scored against Celtic when we beat them during our time at Hibs.
“It was his last game before moving to Celtic and it was a great day.
“It was a nice way for him to sign off.”
With the tie expected to be screened live on television, McCann admits the visit of the Scottish Champions is huge for both the players and the club.
McCann added: “It’s great to be able to reward your club. It’s got that magic of the cup about so it will be interesting to see what happens now.
“Hopefully it does attract the television broadcasters and that would be great.
“I don’t imagine many of the the Celtic players would have played here before, I guess it will be a shock to the system for them.
“Come January, when the pitch is starting to look weathered – I think it will be a bit more sticky and I don’t think they’ll be able to play their free-flowing football.
“You have to have belief in yourself although Celtic are playing out of this world this season under Brendan Rodgers at Celtic and it’s great from a Scottish perspective to see them holding their own in the Champions League.”