Main » 2008 » March » 27 » Defiant Boruc belives Celtic are better side now than title winners.
2:51:48 PM
Defiant Boruc belives Celtic are better side now than title winners.
CELTIC keeper Artur Boruc has previous when it comes to succeeding in nailbiting title run-ins.

And, as the Pole gets himself ready for Saturday's Old Firm showdown at Ibrox, the fans favourite insists focus will be the key for Gordon Strachan's troops at the home of their biggest rivals.

Celtic have coasted to the championship in each of the manager's first two seasons in Glasgow's East End, but they face a mighty fight to secure a third successive flag.

Rangers hold the advantage in the race going into this weekend's crunch clash and serious questions will be asked of the Hoops squad in the remaining matches.

Boruc, though, has been at the centre of a tight title fight in the past and emerged victorious.

The season before he moved to Celtic, the keeper and his Legia Warsaw team-mates won a tense championship battle with rivals Wisla Krakow by a single point after a nerve-shredding end to the campaign.

Something similar looks likely to happen in the SPL three years on and the Poland international insists he is more than ready for the challenge.

He said: "You cannot be involved in every single thing that is happening outside of football. You have to be focused on the football.

"That season at Legia when we won the championship, we won it by apoint and not a single player in that team cared what the other team was doing, it was all about us.

"At one stage, we were two points behind Wisla with four games to go.

But they dropped points, we went one point ahead and then we drew a game in Krakow.

"That was how we won the league, by being good players and not caring about anyone else.

"It doesn't matter what else you hear in games. The main thing is what the manager says before the game and at half-time.

"Everyone knows the football language and how to move and communicate on the pitch, so you don't have to shout that much out there.

"Sometimes you have to make your players more focused but when it is really noisy you don't have to do that because everybody knows what is happening and are already focused.

"That is the big thing in these games so the atmosphere is a good thing for us.

"Also, when you see me shouting, it is more for me than anyone else because I want to keep myself on my toes all the time and that is how I do it."

Considering the huge importance of the upcoming game, Boruc insists he'll maintain his usual routine ahead of Ibrox.

The Pole has courted plenty of controversy on recent visits to Ibrox and is no favourite of the Light Blue legions.

Boruc found himself in hot water last season when he raced across the Ibrox turf with a flag which read 'Celtic: Champions', while his refusal to shake hands with Rangers players after this season's 3-0 loss also saw him criticised.

This may also be Boruc's last visit to Ibrox as a Celtic player having hinted that he may be on his way out of Parkhead if the correct offer comes his way in the summer.

But the Hoops No.1 insists there is no reason to attach any additional importance or significance to his pre-match rituals ahead of the trip across the Clyde.

Boruc said: "I am the same no matter who we are playing. I don't do anything differently or change any of my habits.

"But what surprises me is the build-up in the press and the number of people who are talking about the game.

"It was pretty shocking when I first came over here and I didn't expect there to be that much interest.

"There was quite a lot of interest in some of the games I played for Legia in Poland, but nothing like you see before the derby here.

'But no matter what is said before-hand, it really doesn't matter because you still have to go out on the pitch and do your job."

Strachan needs a performance from his team at Ibrox as the championship reaches a pivotal point.

With a three-point deficit to make up, and having played a game more than Walter Smith's pacesetters, Celtic realise that defeat is simply not an option on Saturday.

March has been a harsh month for Strachan's boys having crashed out of the Champions League to Barcelona.

That may not have been cause for criticism, but the Scottish Cup replay defeat at the hands of Aberdeen on home soil certainly was as was the 0- 0 Parkhead draw with Dundee United a fortnight ago which saw them forfeit more vital SPL ground.

Boruc, however, insists some of the criticism of his team has been over the top and says he is confident the current team have ability, skill and strength of character to win this title fight.

He said: "The game against Aberdeen was a bit strange as we had 26 goal attempts and the performance was good, but the main thing is that you have to score goals.

"I am not blaming the strikers because they have been great this season and scored lots of goals.

"In fact, the team has scored plenty of goals. A lot more than we scored when we won the title last season.

"But all the players have to help the strikers in the remaining games.

Everyone has to be positive in their play.

"We have taken a lot of criticism this season, but I think this team is even better than the one which won the title last year. I honestly believe that.

"I think our overall play this time round has been really good. There have been some very good matches but, as I said before, the main thing about football is winning.

"We are still a very young team, but that makes me happy because if we play like this, imagine how we'll be playing next season and the seasons after that.

"I don't worry about the future at this club, although the main thing just now is that I want us to be the champions again."

The Pole has courted plenty of controversy on recent visits to Ibrox and is no favourite of the Light Blue legions.

Boruc found himself in hot water last season when he raced across the Ibrox turf with a flag which read 'Celtic: Champions', while his refusal to shake hands with Rangers players after this season's 3-0 loss also saw him criticised.

This may also be Boruc's last visit to Ibrox as a Celtic player having hinted that he may be on his way out of Parkhead if the correct offer comes his way in the summer.

But the Hoops No.1 insists there is no reason to attach any additional importance or significance to his pre-match rituals ahead of the trip across the Clyde.

Boruc said: "I am the same no matter who we are playing. I don't do anything differently or change any of my habits.

"But what surprises me is the build-up in the press and the number of people who are talking about the game.

"It was pretty shocking when I first came over here and I didn't expect there to be that much interest.

"There was quite a lot of interest in some of the games I played for Legia in Poland, but nothing like you see before the derby here.

'But no matter what is said before-hand, it really doesn't matter because you still have to go out on the pitch and do your job."

Strachan needs a performance from his team at Ibrox as the championship reaches a pivotal point.

With a three-point deficit to make up, and having played a game more than Walter Smith's pacesetters, Celtic realise that defeat is simply not an option on Saturday.

March has been a harsh month for Strachan's boys having crashed out of the Champions League to Barcelona.

That may not have been cause for criticism, but the Scottish Cup replay defeat at the hands of Aberdeen on home soil certainly was as was the 0- 0 Parkhead draw with Dundee United a fortnight ago which saw them forfeit more vital SPL ground.

Boruc, however, insists some of the criticism of his team has been over the top and says he is confident the current team have ability, skill and strength of character to win this title fight.

He said: "The game against Aberdeen was a bit strange as we had 26 goal attempts and the performance was good, but the main thing is that you have to score goals.

"I am not blaming the strikers because they have been great this season and scored lots of goals.

"In fact, the team has scored plenty of goals. A lot more than we scored when we won the title last season.

"But all the players have to help the strikers in the remaining games.

Everyone has to be positive in their play.

"We have taken a lot of criticism this season, but I think this team is even better than the one which won the title last year. I honestly believe that.

"I think our overall play this time round has been really good. There have been some very good matches but, as I said before, the main thing about football is winning.

"We are still a very young team, but that makes me happy because if we play like this, imagine how we'll be playing next season and the seasons after that.

"I don't worry about the future at this club, although the main thing just now is that I want us to be the champions again."

Category: SPL News | Views: 642 | Added by: cfc_mikee_cfc | Rating: 0.0/0
Total comments: 1
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1 Rahul  
I agree with you 1% – especially with that huge splmae you were working with.BTW where were the bullets and death threats for fernando. We wanted hin alive as long as possible.People hate NL because he can’t talk to the fans? ffs Adam, talk about shoehorn a preconceived idea into a reality three sizes too small. For your information, NL was in fact more than a wee bit pally with several Rangers players, and I have witnessed much banter between he and the likes of Fernando, Barry F and others in the past. Maybe the people you were in the pub with had no sense of humour?__________________________________________________________________________ I never said People hate NL because he can’t talk to the fans You have simply made that up.I have been in Neil Lennons company on 3 occasions. One of those occasions, Barry Ferguson and his missus were there along with Neils gf at the time. Neil Lennon is the same as many thousands of Old Firm fans who wear their heart on the sleeves. Some show it more than others. And he is one of those.One of the nights i was out with him and a few others(this was before he was Celtic manager by the way), we spoke about the fans not liking him and if he believed it was a religious thing and he said that there was a misconception that he was getting sectarian abuse when he first came to Scotland but that it simply wasnt the case. Are their people who hate him because he is a Northern Irish Catholic. Of course there is. By the same token though, and you can deny it to the cows come home, there are people on the other side who can see no wrong in him because he is a Northern Irish Catholic.Me. I see him as a misunderstood bloke. A fan who is living the dream but out of his depth.

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