Hearts goalkeeper Jon McLaughlin insists Celtic are not ‘invincible’ – and reckons the Hoops’ record-breaking 69-game unbeaten run is becoming a heavy burden.
The Tynecastle side will bid to become the first team since St Johnstone in May 2016 to inflict a domestic defeat on Brendan Rodgers’ team.
Hearts go into the game on a high following back-to-back victories but their own recent results against Celtic do not make for great reading having not won in this fixture in 20 straight matches – losing 18.
But unlike in England where Manchester City have blown the opposition away during a 15-game winning sequence, former Burton Albion shot-stopper McLaughlin believes Celtic have been less than convincing.
He said: “They’ve been drawing quite a few games over this run, it’s not like Man City where they are putting everyone to the sword three or four every week.
“There have been tight games and ones where they’ve almost thrown it away, and ones where they’ve had to claw it back real late – so there is certainly not the invincible tag that there maybe is with others.
“It’s up to us to make it as uncomfortable a day as we can for Celtic.
“If you look at the teams who have managed to get draws, even come close to beating Celtic, it’s when they’ve really frustrated them and made it difficult for them.
“That’s our focus. And anything we get out of the game is a bonus, really, in the big picture.”
Even though Celtic have the momentum of a record-breaking unbeaten run at domestic level, McLaughlin believes that can actually pose problems for the Hoops.
He added: “At the same time, they’ve got it at the back of their minds that any little mistake from any individual or collectively will culminate in ending not just one result, it’s 70 results.
“It starts to build for them and becomes more more difficult.
“‘The pressure is on them, not us.”