JASON HOLT endured nothing but misery at a packed Parkhead. He hopes his luck changes at an empty one.
The Livingston midfielder has lined up at the home of the Hoops six times during his spells with Rangers and Hearts and, while he is yet to taste victory, he has been battered a few times.
Holt was on the end of 5-0 and 4-1 reverses with the Jambos – albeit notching a consolation goal in the latter – and endured another chastening 5-0 in the Old Firm encounter of April 2018.
A couple of draws with the Light Blues are the sum-total of his ‘successes’ in Glasgow’s East End.
However, those games largely took place in front of a raucous near-60,000 crowd. Saturday’s visit of the Lions will be played to crickets – and Livi will be aiming to take full advantage.
Holt recalled: “The Old Firm games were different class. Just the whole build-up and the outside interest and all the hype; it’s just a great spectacle.
“Everyone you speak to out-with Scotland who watches it always say how amazing it must be to be involved, and they were very special games to be involved in.
“Although, in the main, I haven’t had too many positive results there [Celtic Park] – a couple of draws are the best I have done.
“This will obviously be very different, with no crowd. We just need to accept that’s how it is at the moment.
“I’m looking forward to it. I haven’t played anywhere as big as Celtic Park empty – I never got the chance to do it at Ibrox or Tynecastle, either. These are unique circumstances at the moment but we are kind of getting used to them.
“Honestly, I don’t know if it’s an advantage or not, we’ll soon find out!
“We’re aware of the qualities they have got, we know it will be extremely tough with fans or no fans.”
Nevertheless, Holt is adamant Livi have nothing to lose.
Celtic, while yet to hit top gear this term, have won five of their six Premiership games this season, scoring 17 goals in the process. Kilmarnock are the only team to take points off champions, securing a 1-1 draw in August.
There is no weight of expectation on the visitors – who, by contrast, are joint-bottom of the league – and Holt says they will travel west with a game-plan to rip up the form-book.
The former St Johnstone and Sheffield United schemer said: “We have nothing to fear going there.
“We have been working hard this week and we need to carry out the instructions we are given. If we do that we have a chance of getting a positive result.”
But Holt knows a major improvement will be required from the 2-1 home defeat against Hamilton last week, a result characterised by wastefulness at one end and woeful defending at the other.
Boss Gary Holt didn’t miss his underperforming stars after the game, demanding they be more courageous in both boxes and get back to what has made them successful previously.
His namesake could not agree more.
He added: “We need to get back to basics, 100 per cent – the manager was right.
“If you take your chances at one end and keep a clean sheet at the other you’re going to have success. But if you don’t you’ll get punished and that’s what happened to us.
“We had a debrief on Monday and once we did that we put it to bed. Now we need to concentrate on Celtic because we know it is going to be another really tough game.”