Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers recognises the “joy and the journey” of Scottish Cup opponents Buckie Thistle.
The Highland League side set up a trip to Celtic Park by beating Broxburn Athletic on penalties despite having two men sent off and after equalising in the closing stages of normal and extra time.
Rodgers is glad his opposite number Graeme Stewart will be in the dugout next to him after avoiding a touchline ban following a recent red card.
Rodgers said: “I’m so looking forward to the game.
“When we saw the draw and we saw the reaction of the guys at Buckie Thistle, it’s great for the players and obviously for Graeme that he can be stood on the side of the pitch rather than in the stands, which is great. It’s what the cup is all about.
“It’s a great story. They’ve got to come down a long way. They deserve to be there and we’ve prepared like we would for any game.
“We’ve looked at some of their games and seen how they got through and, for us, we’ve got to do a professional job at home.
“But hopefully it will be a great occasion for them and their supporters to come to Celtic Park.
“This is a game that we’re expected to win but you have to perform on the field, but I also recognise the joy and the journey that Buckie Thistle have had to get to Celtic Park.
“It’s an incredible story, but hopefully, as I said, they can come and have a good experience but clearly not too good.”
Rodgers has a 100 per cent record in the Scottish Cup.
His first final appearance saw Celtic beat Aberdeen to clinch an invincible treble and he enjoyed victory over Motherwell at Hampden in 2018.
He said: “I loved the Scottish Cup when I was here and any of the cup competitions are clearly special.
“My memories of the few times being involved are great – the first one was iconic. It was a real special feeling, and that was just an amazing memory.
“And then beating Motherwell on a lovely day at Hampden was also great. So that’s the ambition when you start out in the competition – you want to get to Hampden and our idea is to go all the way again.”
STV News is now on WhatsApp
Get all the latest news from around the countryFollow STV News
Follow STV News on WhatsApp
Scan the QR code on your mobile device for all the latest news from around the country