12:11:49 PMCeltic keeper Artur Boruc: We never stopped believing the title was ours
|ARTUR BORUC last night insisted Celtic's unshakeable belief has driven them towards an unlikely three-in-a-row. |
The Polish keeper and his colleagues stand on the brink of a staggering championship fightback tomorrow night as they aim to seal a hat-trick of flag triumphs.
Celtic go to the City of Discovery to face Dundee United at Tannadice knowing a win should be enough to secure the title in dramatic fashion.
With a game to go in a rolle rcoaster season Gordon Strachan's men lead Rangers by four goals, the Old Firm on the identical 86-point mark with a record of 27 wins, five draws and five defeats.
For Celtic, the opportunity to seal it on Tayside has come around in sensational circumstances. At the start of April, Strachan's team lost to Motherwell and sat seven points behind Walter Smith's men having played one game more.
Themajority of the Celtic fans had given up at that stage but six priceless wins have thrust them back into the mix.
Afull 18 points - six of which were earned against the Ibrox team - have sat alongside a mini-Rangers collapse to set up tomorrow's astonishing finale.
The title is within touching distance for Boruc and co and a win for Rangers at Aberdeen may not be enough to deny the defending champions if they can sink Craig Levein's team.
The Polish keeper insists the seeds of the comeback were sown in the minds of the Celtic players who simply refused to believe at any stage their dream was over - even during the most agonising days.
Boruc said: "We have managed to bring ourselves from the hole we were in and never stopped believing we could win the league, even after we had a poor period around Christmas time when we allowed Rangers to build up a lead over us.
"But now everything will be decided on the final day and that makes for a great end to the season.
We know it will not be easy for us against Dundee United and it is sure they will give their best.
"People may believe the match does not mean anything to them but they will not want to lose to anyone on their own ground and in front of their own fans."
Boruc has plenty to be excited about besides Tannadice as he looks ahead to upcoming weeks.
He will be doing everything in his power to try to claim his third successive league medal since arriving from Legia Warsaw but won't be doing much savouring of the moment in the days after the game if Celtic do win the SPL.
Alongside other Euro 2008-bound stars Georgios Samaras and Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink, Boruc will head to Glasgow Airport on Friday to fly out for international duty.
Boruc doesn't harbour any regrets about potentially missing out on an ongoing SPL party. He said: "I fly to Germany on Friday to meet up with the Poland squad, so Iwon't even have a day's rest. I'll have to keep the celebrations to a minimum. I 've chosen my profession and certainly won't complain, particularly if we win!"
Boruc's chosen profession has certainly made him a star and his displays since moving to Celtic Park have not gone unnoticed among some of Europe's major clubs.
The Pole signed a deal at the start of the year to keep him in Glasgow until 2011 but that has not stopped some big hitters from expressing an interest.
AC Milan have been the most vocal of the suitors and coach Carlo Ancelotti has publicly described his admiration for Boruc as he looks to replace outgoing No.1 Nelson Dida.
Naturally, a successful Euro 2008 for Poland will bring even more interested parties to the front door of Parkhead.
Boruc has heard all the rumours and insists it hardly makes him weep to know some famous managers are looking at him.
But as far as he is concerned he will be staying a Bhoy for the forseeable future.
The 28-year-old said: "As far as I am aware I will be staying in Glasgow. I've had no contact with any other club and so my situation won't change.
"I'm not going to start crying about the fact the press have linked me to a club like Milan.
"But I don't want to talk about that because it doesn't mean anything if there is nothing concrete.
"I haven't really thought of the Euros either because all my focus is on the Scottish league.
"The time will come later to evaluate that situation but I notice the German people are already trying to provoke ahead of our game against them by claiming all Poles are car thieves! That is not important to me. I am immune from these things, they are silly."
Boruc, of course, will be hoping to reflect on a third gleaming championship medal if the Hoops get the job done at Tannadice.
Strachan's title treble would be evenmore creditable given the almighty challenge posed by Smith's Rangers this season but the Pole reckons his team may not get the deserved recognition.
Bizarrely, Boruc believes the media in Scotland favour the Ibrox team and made his claims after being quizzed about the adverse publicity he drew for wearing a Pope t-shirt after the recent win over Rangers.
Speaking to dziennik.pl, he added: "Rangers reached the UEFA Cup Final and will be credited for that in the history books. These articles about me are written by, in my opinion, people who sympathise with Rangers.
"Scottish media in general seems to favour our rivals.They are lauded for their feats in the UEFA Cup and in the league.
"I'm convinced if Celtic had been in the same situation there wouldn't be the same reaction."
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