David Mitchell has quite the challenge on his hands this afternoon when his Clyde side take on Celtic.
2006 heralded one of Scottish football’s great cup stories. The Bully Wee, on Roy Keane’s debut, ran out 2-1 winners over the Hoops as a Scottish Cup classic was written.
Now it’s up to Mitchell and the class of 2020 to try and perform miracles. Celtic have won ten domestic trophies in a row and Clyde know they are in for a mighty task against Neil Lennon’s men.
It isn’t going to their heads though, at least not Mitchell’s. In reality, Celtic isn’t even the Broadwood side’s main focus for the rest of the term according to the stopper. In his eyes, it’s all about League One success.
“This is quite a big game for the club,” Mitchell told NTOF. “I think everyone is looking forward to it. I’ve been feeling fine before it, the league is more important for us. It’s important we get consistency as that’s been out downfall throughout the season.
“We beat East Fife then we lose a bigger game to Forfar. It’s frustrating that way but we are still looking forward to Sunday. In a way it isn’t a nice break from the league, we are obviously trying to climb the league.
“I think especially after getting beat last week, we just want to make things right in the league. At the same time, it’s not very often you get to play Celtic, so I would say it’s a nice bonus.
“I know I’m a wee bit frustrated with that wee break from the league, it is the most important thing for us. You can’t be too frustrated though, so you can’t get too down.”
Figuring Celtic out and looking for work
It’s been a tough few months for Mitchell. After leaving Falkirk at the end of last season, he made the transition to part-time football. That has come with its own challenges on the work front.
His employer was a mess by Mitchell’s own admission. If anything was likely to sum that workplace up, it was the fact that Mitchell was one of 18 people to be let go just before Christmas. He’s been left looking for work since but he’s got football and family to thank for taking his mind off things a little.
That being said, friends and family have been lighting up his phone looking for Broadwood briefs. Mitchell and his Clyde teammates have been meticulously looking for ways to hurt Celtic, guided by one of Scottish football’s best characters, Danny Lennon. They’re looking for an unlikely repeat of 2006 against a Hoops side with players ‘on flames.’
“Our gaffer is great that way, I’ve not seen someone work as hard as him,” said Mitchell. “Everybody has an idea of how Celtic play but nothing will change in terms of how the gaffer will prepare.
“He’ll do all he can to make sure we know what we need to do. I’ve got a lot of family and friends who are Celtic fans. I was actually a Kilmarnock fan growing up, I’m an Ayrshire boy and my dad liked us supporting the local team growing up.
“My grandfather was a massive Celtic fan. We’d go over to my gran and grandpa’s house and he’d have the Jimmy Johnstone videos on. It’s a club with family ties and my mates do too. They’ll be excited to see it.
“I don’t think I’ve been able to help them out with tickets! I’ve just tried to help out my missus and the kids, plus my dad. They are the ones who watch every week without fail, but I’ve tried to sort everyone out, my family’s my biggest fans!
“I’ve not actually got a job just now, that was a shambles. I was working at a place in East Kilbride but it turned into an absolute shambles of a place to work. I got paid off in December before Christmas.
“That kind of sums the place up for me, 18 of us got let go by email. It wasn’t a nice to place to work anyway, the two guys running it weren’t the nicest anyway. I’m just trying to sort something out but I’ve had plenty of help.
“It’s been stressful, especially before Christmas. My missus is brilliant that way, she’s very supportive. Clyde have also gave me a new deal that I’m delighted about so at least there’s something there that’s helping. The others haven’t got something else and haven’t got a job. I feel quite lucky that way.
“Odsonne Edouard and Leigh Griffiths are on flames just now though so it’ll be good to test myself against these guys. These guys are from a different world, they are that good.
“We’ve not really spoke about 2006 but we still remember it, it was a big deal. That’s what makes the Scottish Cup special, there’s a different feeling. It’s up there with one of the biggest shocks in Scottish football. We’ll just do our thing and we’ll be well-drilled, it’ll be exciting.”