Ross County played their part in Ronny Deila’s demise as Celtic manager and attacker Alex Schalk insists his club is ready to inflict more pain on the Hoops this weekend.
Deila will leave at the end of the season, with the Norwegian buckling following Sunday’s Scottish Cup semi-final defeat to Rangers.
His departure has also been hastened by County’s surprise win against the Hoops in the League Cup semi-final on January 31.
Despite the Hoops being eight points clear of Aberdeen at the top of the Premiership, Dutch forward Schalk expects the Staggies to upset the champions once more.
Schalk said: “I think we are going to beat them – I’m really confident right now.
“If you’re at Celtic you’re expected to win every game, every cup and everything in the league.
“That’s always the pressure. That semi-final was such an important game for Celtic.
“They will be sharp, but they will be under a lot of pressure, especially playing against Ross County at home.
“I think that’s a great advantage for us, as we can play freely and that’s really important.”
Schalk scored when County defeated Celtic 3-1 in the semi-final of the League Cup, before going on to net the winner against Hibernian last month to secure the Dingwall club’s first major silverware.
With County not in action last weekend, Schalk returned to the Netherlands for a break and the 23-year-old was amazed by the reaction to his success, with former Celtic forward Pierre van Hooijdonk among those taking note.
Schalk added: “My family were all at the final. I gave my dad my top from the final, and he had already had it on the wall when I went back. It was nice to see those things and talk about the memories. Pierre van Hooijdonk said people in Holland always think about Scottish football as not being the best league in the world.
“He said they shouldn’t underestimate the performance of what we’ve done here, and that it was a really great achievement for me and Ross County – a memory for a lifetime.
“It was all really positive and it was really nice to get so much attention back home.”
Schalk is out of contract in the summer, and has been offered a two-year extension by manager Jim McIntyre.
The attacker, who has scored eight goals since joining from Go Ahead Eagles in October, remains non-committal about his future and added: “The week off was really good to have a conversation with my family and my girlfriend.
“I’m positive, but we will see what happens. We’ve reached our goal of the top-six and now we can really sit down and have a chat with the manager and see what happens.
“Talks are ongoing right now.”