Full circle moment for Ross County boss at Celtic on Saturday afternoon
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When Malky Mackay takes his team to Celtic tomorrow, it will almost feel like his career has come full circle.
Starting out as an amateur at Queen’s Park, Mackay made his professional debut with the Glasgow giants and spent five years at the club.
He turned out alongside Parkhead legends such as Paul McStay and Tom Boyd, and has extremely fond memories of his time there.
So going back as a manager for the first time will be a nice, if unexpected, moment to say the least for Mackay.
“If someone had said to me a year ago that I would be going back there as a manager that’s not something I thought would have ever happened,” he admitted.
“Queen’s Park was my club, my dad’s club and the one I was born and brought up around, but we lived five miles away from Parkhead in the east end of Glasgow, so I knew Celtic really well.
“It ended up being my launchpad to England and all the memories I have from there, so Celtic is a time in my life I really look back on with fondness.
“It was a very traumatic time at the club, well-documented, but it was an incredible experience playing in Old Firm games, winning the league and breaking 10-in-a-row for Rangers.
“To go back there and manage will be special on Saturday, but my first and only thought will be for Ross County and making sure my team, players and staff are protected by myself and we give a good account of ourselves.”
Tomorrow’s match will see Mackay go up against another recent managerial appointment in Ange Postecoglou, who has not surprised Mackay with the impact he has made so far.
“I know a couple of the guys at the Australian FA who know him,” Mackay explained.
“They had already told me good things about him, and I’m impressed.
“There is a lot of flux at the club, but as far as I’m aware he has come in in a very calm manner and there’s a clarity in what he wants. They are going about that in the correct way and they are winning games.
“I’m not surprised, because he’s an experienced football manager who has gone in and he’s handling a situation that is not easy.”
Ross County will always be underdogs against Celtic, even with two wins over them last season, but Mackay is optimistic his side can spring another surprise.
“There are always ways that teams can beat you, and there are always ways that you can beat them,” he said.
“Teams always have strengths and weaknesses, and you have to find them and execute a game plan. That’s the same the world over and that won’t be any different on Saturday.”