Lubomir Moravcik has told the current crop of Hoops players that collecting the Treble is as much about belief now than anything else.
Moravcik was part of Martin O’Neill’s squad who last performed a clean domestic sweep and the little Slovakian has maintained that as the achievement draws closer, nerves and confidence play their part.
Celtic have already banked the League Cup as well as the League Championship. Rangers will look to put a spoke in the wheel this weekend when the teams meet in the William Hill Scottish Cup semi-final, with the Ibrox side desperate to stop the momentum from Brendan Rodgers’ side.
“It is as much about your nerve and staying strong in your mind now,” said Moravcik. “A few years ago Celtic got to this stage too with Ronny [Deila] but there seems to be more belief and more momentum.
“You expect Celtic to do it. That is not to say that it is easy but I think the way they have played and they way they have beaten teams makes them look like a head above everyone.
“But as players, you know so much can go in just one game. So you need to stay strong. The thing I like about them just now is that they seem to have that belief in themselves. They look like a team that can come back from a disappointment and that is important.
“A cup game between the teams is special. I was lucky to experience that myself and having been on winning and losing sides I know what it feels like. This one is a little bit different again because it could be a Treble and that is not a chance that comes every season.”
Celtic have not beaten Rangers in a Scottish Cup semi-final for 92 years, a statistic that has raised a few eyebrows.
The Ibrox side have not beaten Celtic this season in four meetings; two league wins for the Parkhead side, a share of the spoils and Hoops League Cup victory are how it stands so far, underlining the chasm between the teams this term.
Scott Brown will be free to play this Sunday following an appeal regarding last weekend’s red card at Dingwall. The importance of Brown to the Celtic midfield was underlined yesterday when UEFA stats showed that he tops UEFA’s Champions League chart for the most amount of interceptions made in games.
The 31-year-old played in every minute of Celtic’s six games in the group stages of the tournament this season and Moravcik has applauded the influence he has had on Rodgers’ side.
“He has looked like a different player this season,” said Moravcik. “To me, so much of that is through training and what you are doing with the manager and the coaches.
“I know that he was not so fit last season but he still wanted to play but he has been so important throughout this campaign. Players like Scott are very big players because they know in games like this what it means to the club and what it means to the supporters.”
Henrik’s Heroes v Lubo’s Legends, a charity game for the Celtic Foundation, will take place at 2pm on May 28th at Celtic Park.