Celtic’s hiccup continues as Ross County march on into the final


Today must feel like a deja-vu for Celtic fans as once again their club fell short of expectations losing to the hard working Ross County who battled back from a goal down within the first 30 seconds of the game to beat the Scottish champions 3-1 in a match which was heavily affected by the pitch conditions at Hampden Park.

The dismissal of Efe Ambrose for a collision in the box with Ross County forward Alex Schalk after a sublime flick through from Jackson Irvine in the 13th minute certainly swung the momentum in favour of the Dingwall side favour as Martin Woods converted the subsequent penalty.

But with 77 minutes left to play I am sure many will have felt that the men from Glasgow should have been able to see off this County side, but second half goals from Paul Quinn and Alex Schalk put the tie to bed and even a late penalty for Celtic was saved from the quite brilliant Scott Fox who did his claims for a place in the Scotland squad no harm.

While Celtic did not live up to expectations a lot of credit has to go to Ross County who from their very shaky start rode out Celtic’s challenge to win, even the late charge led by returning captain Scott Brown had little effect on the beleaguered Celtic side who were lucky not to finish the game with nine men after frustration got the better of Stefan Johansen has he flew into a tackle on Liam Boyce.

But after today’s events questions will be asked of what implications this result has on Celtic’s season.

The everlasting cycle of inconsistency that has tainted Celtic’s season and more so Ronny Delia’s time in charge of the Glasgow club seems to be never ending as they lurch from one impending crisis to another, and the timing of this latest blip couldn’t have been worse as they visit title challengers Aberdeen.

A win for the Pittodrie side would drag Derek McInnes’ side back into the title fight at a stage when many thought the Glasgow club would be out of sight at the top of the table.

If the worst was to happen at Pittodrie for this Celtic side, even more questions will be asked of the Norwegian who has had constant critics throughout his time in charge. I would imagine even now a significant proportion of Celtic fans will be asking for the P45 to be issued, but I would be surprised if Peter Lawwell and the Celtic board bit the bullet and sent Delia on his way even if they were to lose in mid-week.

But sadly for Ronny I cannot see him lasting after this season as results over his two-year reign have not gone his way especially in Europe – which has been a big issue for Celtic fans in the absence of Rangers and sadly even if he was to win the double for the second time in a row I fear it would not appease the Celtic faithful who would have expected the treble to be delivered at least once since Rangers’ demise.

Whatever happens in the coming weeks and months, I see an interesting ending to the season as Celtic rely on Leigh Griffiths to fire them to success but as today showed sometimes it’s a good idea to have a back-up plan.


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