Ross County co-manager Stuart Kettlewell insists Celtic’s strength in depth is too vast for the Staggies to take any comfort if talisman Odsonne Edouard is ruled out of tomorrow’s Premiership encounter.
Frenchman Edouard is the Hoops’ leading scorer with 14 goals this term – including two in Celtic’s 6-0 win over the Staggies in October – but missed Thursday’s 3-1 Europa League win over Rennes with a niggling injury which manager Neil Lennon confirmed makes him doubtful for the trip to Victoria Park.
Winger Lewis Morgan filled in as the lone forward, putting in an impressive display in which he netted the opening goal, which Kettlewell feels underlines the embarrassment of riches at Lennon’s disposal.
Kettlewell said: “It just shows the strength in depth. I’m a little bit of a broken record on what Celtic and what Rangers are, with the resources they have.
“They made those changes on Thursday and still got an excellent result against a good side.
“We’ll brace ourselves for every possible outcome in terms of what their starting 11 is. Neil Lennon has said there is a chance Edouard was a doubt.
“We’ll just have to wait and see. He’s an exceptional player, but there will be another very good player waiting to start if he doesn’t.
“Lewis Morgan played as the main striker and obviously plays it a completely different way to Edouard, but they can always trust they’ll have dominance of the ball, so the movement and decision-making can be so free-flowing.
“From the changes I saw on Thursday night, they still affect the game very well.”
County go into tomorrow’s game on the back of an eight-game winless streak, however Kettlewell is keen for his players to put that to the back of their minds this weekend.
He added: “There’s obviously a dent in our confidence at the moment. Nobody is shy in telling us we’re on a poor run and all the rest of it. We’re quick to tell ourselves that.
“We have to believe this is an opportunity to get ourselves out of a wee spell where we feel our standards have dipped.
“Sometimes it can be the best way, but certainly character and mental strength will be tested for 90 minutes on Sunday.
“We have to instil a belief and confidence in the players that they can cope at that level.”
Kettlewell says the Staggies cannot afford to dwell on their chastening loss at Parkhead last month, adding: “On that day, they were exceptionally ruthless against us and it could have been more than six, I’m not going to kid anyone on.
“I’ve watched Celtic in their last several games, and it could have been 6-0 in some of their other games as well, with the chances they had.
“We associate Aberdeen as being one of the top sides in this country. Realistically, at Pittodrie, it could have been more than four for Celtic in the first half of that game.
“This is the best we’re dealing with. It’s up to us to try to stifle that.”