• Why Old Firm is a must-win
  • Reversing recent record in the fixture
  • How Clement has changed mentality
  • Keeping Kyogo quiet

Connor Goldson has spoken to the media ahead of the Old Firm game with Celtic. Here is what he had to say.

How much are the players relishing this fixture?

We are looking forward to it, we are excited. I am not going to sit here and say it is not a big game. But we have been on a good run and we just need to continue our form and go into this game full of confidence.

Is this the biggest Old Firm game you have played in?

I don’t know. They are all big. There have been cup finals, semi-finals over the years. They are all big games.

Given how tight it is, does this fit into the must-win category?

Obviously, yeah, it is a must win but, at the same time, there is a long way to go after this, there will still be a lot of games to play and maybe points dropped by either team. Obviously we go into it treating it as a must-win game but at the same time I still think it is not going to decide anything.

How much do you feel the team is in a better place than the previous games with Celtic?

I think we are in a good place, we have been on a good run of form. The manager has been here now for a longer period of time and the boys are settled with that and learning from him every day has been good. The group has come together more as a whole group, a lot of players have been used over this period and there are a lot of happy boys in there. We just need to continue what we have been doing, work hard every single day and hopefully that gets us to where we want to be.

How would you assess the two Old Firm games this season?

I think they have both been won in moments. I think the first one, looking at the game, they get the winner and the second one they were more clinical in the moments that they had. That is something that, in an Old Firm, you have to be and you have to take your chances when they come. It is never usually a match full of chances, especially the tighter ones. When our own opportunities come we need to be clinical and we need to limit them if possible.

Is stopping Kyogo the key to beating Celtic?

No. He is obviously an important player for them, he scores goals.  We have to stop the whole team as a whole, the ball has to get to Kyogo in the first place for him to be able to score goals. I am not going to sit here and say they are not a good team, they are obviously a good team. But at the same time we have full belief in ourselves and we need to go into this game and put our authority on the game.

Can you put your finger on what needs to change in these fixtures?

I don’t think I can put my finger on it. All of the games will be different, some tighter and some not. Like I said, the games come down to moments and we have to take ours.

Are you ready to change that record?

Of course. I hope so.

How do you reflect on the mentality change under the manager?

It has been strong and I think you can see that through the performances and results on the pitch. The manager has really driven that home what he wants from us and it is not just in games, it is every single day in training. I think that is the main thing why we are getting our rewards on the pitch, now in training you have got two good elevens playing against each other and at a really high standard. It is because everyone knows if you don’t perform in training you are not going to get opportunities on the pitch

How confident are you as a defender that you have the quality at the top end of the pitch?

We know that we usually score goals and since the manager has come in, I think we have scored even more. It is our job as defenders to limit the other teams’ chances when possible and let the forward players win us the game.

How much will no away fans play a part?

We have to use that to our advantage. We have 50,000 home supporters there, we have to get them roaring, we have to get them off their feet. That is up to us as a team.

Have you given advice to those that haven’t played in an Old Firm game?

No, I haven’t. I think we are on Friday now and still a couple of days away from the game. We have had a good weeks training, I think you can tell when there is a big game on the horizon because training goes up another level and everyone wants to stake their claim to play. We had a good weeks training and we need to roll into the weekend now and take that with us.