Wednesday, August 17, 2022
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Lincoln Red Imps coaching looking forward to Celtic Park return for first time since celebrating Old Firm win


Lincoln Red Imps assistant manager Mick McElwee has already experienced a packed out Celtic Park after celebrating Joe Ledley’s Old Firm winner five years ago.

Hoops supporter McElwee’s agenda will be entirely different on Wednesday evening, however, when he will be part of the Imps’ dugout team attempting to mastermind one of European football’s greatest upsets.

The Gibraltan part-timers take a 1-0 lead to Glasgow for the Champions League second qualifying round clash after Lee Casciaro inflicted an embarrassing first leg defeat on new Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers’ debut in the British Overseas Territory last Tuesday.

lincolnredimpsMcElwee, who guided Lincoln to ten league titles before stepping back two years ago, admits he will have a good idea of what to expect at Parkhead.

He said: “I’m a life-long Celtic fan and the last game I was at at Celtic Park was an Old Firm derby in the league against Rangers back in 2011.

“Joe Ledley scored the winning goal with a header from a corner.

“I’m suspecting that there might be a few more in the stadium on Wednesday than otherwise there might have been if the result had gone to plan in Gibraltar.

“The crowd will be a factor, that’s for sure – they will be geeing them up.

“They have the team and the squad and if Leigh Griffiths turns up and they play to form, they’d expect to get through. It’s natural that would be their view point on it.

“It’s going to be tremendously difficult for us but we’ve put ourselves in an interesting position.”

McElwee admits Tuesday’s memorable win has put Lincoln, who only became full UEFA members three years ago, on the footballing map.

He added: “Our profile has gone global, especially with Julio (Cesar Ribas), our manager, being Uruguayan.

“We’ve had headlines in Argentina, Uruguay – South America.

“There was nothing else going on in football last week really so, for us to do it at a time when the footballing world was quiet, it made a bigger splash.

“It’s all about timing and we were a bit lucky with that in a sense.”

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