Ross County winger Michael Gardyne says the Staggies are intent on salvaging personal pride when they host Premiership champions Celtic on Sunday.
The Staggies suffered a chastening 6-0 defeat to Neil Lennon’s side when the two sides last met at Parkhead in October, forming County’s heaviest loss during their current eight-match winless sequence.
Despite the Hoops’ excellent form, Gardyne, pictured, says the manner of defeat still rankles.
He said: “We probably have a point to prove to ourselves.
“I don’t think we are judged on games against Celtic and Rangers from the press or the fans, but in the dressing room we will always judge ourselves.
“We are the ones that go out on the pitch, and to get beaten 5-0 or 6-0 does not sit well – even if it is a Celtic or Rangers.
“We want to go out there and put on a good showing for ourselves and for the fans. It’s for that personal pride almost, when you are playing football you need to make sure they are in a game.”
Celtic’s trip to Dingwall this weekend completes a difficult trio of home fixtures for County, who have lost out to Rangers and Aberdeen in recent weeks.
Gardyne, who began his career at Parkhead, is relishing the fixture, with the 33-year-old adding: “We’re playing Celtic who are flying, in front of a full house on the television.
“We always say it, but it’s why we won the Championship last season. These are the games we want to play in, these are the players we want to test ourselves against.
“Against the biggest teams in Scotland, what more do you need to play for?
“Celtic are one of those teams who, if you give the ball away in bad positions, they are going to punish you. We just need to make sure we are going into it confident – otherwise there is no point in playing football.”
Gardyne remains upbeat despite County’s recent loss of form, which leaves them just three points above bottom spot. He added: “Confidence is massive in football – it probably is in any walk of life. In the dressing room, the lads are in good spirits.
“We have had a good start to the season, and then in the last seven or eight games we have tailed a wee bit.
“We know ourselves performances have not been good enough.
“But the lads in there won’t hide away from anything. They will admit to who has not performed well. We just need to pick ourselves up and go again.”