HEARTS attacker Steven MacLean has delivered a defiant rallying cry ahead of Saturday’s Scottish Cup final, insisting the Jambos are ready to ‘ram it right up’ the naysayers.
The 36-year-old has no qualms about admitting that the capital club have taken motivation from the widespread assumption that Celtic will sweep them aside at Hampden.
And MacLean has vowed to take great joy in proving that they are not mere cannon fodder in the Hoops’ procession to a treble treble.
“We want to go out and prove people wrong,” said the former St Johnstone and Rangers striker. “Hopefully, we can turn up, win it and then tell the people who have been writing us off to ram it right up you!”
He continued: “That doesn’t need to be talked about explicitly but any players who have a bit about them – and we have a few boys like that – just know. They understand what people have been saying.
“I’m sure all the younger boys are on social media and they see it too.
“We have to use that as an incentive to then go out and show people we can put on a performance, beat Celtic and bring the cup back to Gorgie.”
MacLean even contends that the pressure on the Hoops to lift their ninth trophy on the spin could count against them as the match wears on and the lofty expectations start to weigh on Celtic shoulders.
“We can add to that pressure,” he adds. “There are keys points in a game; the first 20 minutes is important, how you start the game and how you impose yourself on the game. After that, it’s whether you can get a lead? Can you get the Celtic fans nervous or turning against them?
“We could then turn that to our advantage. But it is important that we do the right things to get our fans on side and get the Celtic fans against their team. That can drive us on.”