John McGlynn has urged Raith to ensure they do not fall victim to the same type of Glasgow onslaught that killed off their Fife rivals Dunfermline in the last round of the Premier Sports Cup.
The Kirkcaldy side are big underdogs as they travel west to face Ange Postecoglou’s Celtic side at Parkhead in Thursday’s quarter-final tie.
McGlynn is braced for a tough test and knows his team must be fully focused in the early stages so they do not suffer a similar fate to the Pars, who were thrashed 5-0 by Rangers at Ibrox last month after shipping four goals in the opening 33 minutes.
He told Raith TV: “It’s very important that we play the game and not the occasion because I was at the Rangers v Dunfermline game and Dunfermline lost a few goals very early and that could have been down to getting hit by the atmosphere and the intensity of the play.
“Before you know it, you can be beaten and there’s still a long time to go. We’ve got to focus on the game plan and try to blank out the noise, and hopefully we’ll come out of Celtic Park happy at the end of the night.”
Celtic have lost all three of their away games in the cinch Premiership this season, but McGlynn believes they are a far more formidable proposition at home.
He said: “Even though they got beat at Livingston at the weekend and had a difficult time in Spain against Real Betis, they’ve still got a lot of very good football players. They’re particularly dangerous at Celtic Park.
“They got six goals against Dundee, six against St Mirren, three against Ross County, so they’re scoring goals at Celtic Park. It’s a bigger park than ours and it’s not an astroturf pitch, so Celtic have lost at the weekend on a surface and stadium that they haven’t done particularly well at recently so I’m not reading too much into that.
“Celtic at Celtic Park are a different animal so we’ll need to be ready from the word ‘go’ because I’m sure they’ll try and come out the blocks and kill the game as soon as they can. We’ve got to make sure we’re in the game as long as we possibly can.
“They’re a possession-based team, an attack-minded team. They’ll play a 4-2-3-1 or a 4-3-3 so we’ve got to prepare for that but it’s difficult to pick what team they’ll put out because they’ve got a number of players who could come into the reckoning. We’ve got to be ready for everything and anything.”