Caley Thistle manager John Hughes believes midfielder Ryan Christie can thrive on the Parkhead stage in tomorrow’s Scottish Premiership encounter.
Christie returns to contention after serving a one-match suspension for his red card against St Mirren this month.
Inverness were not hindered by Christie’s absence, with James Vincent coming in to help Hughes’ side defeat Dundee United 1-0 at Caledonian Stadium last weekend.
However, Hughes reckons Christie’s inadvertent break from action has triggered a hungry response from the 19-year-old, who is eager to regain his place against the Premiership champions tomorrow.
Hughes said: “I’d say he has benefited from the rest. He has watched the team last week and we did OK. You can see in his training, he’s working with a real desire to get right back in.
“It’s not just his work-rate but his quality about the training pitch, so he’s going to come right into our thoughts for the starting 11.
“He’s one I remember putting on at Parkhead in the League Cup final against Aberdeen and, for me, he lit it up for the 10 minutes he was on.
“So that stage will not frighten him, that’s for sure.”
Hughes knows all about the threat of Celtic forward Anthony Stokes, having managed the Irishman at Falkirk and Hibernian.
The Caley Jags manager insists he is just one of several players his side must be wary of when it faces the Hoops.
Hughes added: “We’re playing a Celtic team hitting form at the right time but I always knew it would come.
“You can see the coaching that is going on. They’re not always going to hit the heights but you can see they’ve got wonderful players.
“They’re going to win the league. They have the biggest budget, best support, best stadium, best players, so it’s a massive challenge for us. But we go there in good form and momentum.
“We’ve got great respect for their players. I worked with Stokes. He’s a maverick and a lovely guy. He’s one of these guys I like being around. A loveable rogue, shall we say.
“Then you see the form Scott Brown is in for Scotland and his club.
“I expect all our players to be rubbing their hands and seeing what they can do. If they’re not, then we’re a man down.”