Kilmarnock manager Alex Dyer will hope to achieve what Lazio failed to do this season by beating Celtic when he takes his team to Parkhead today.
Having overcome Rangers just 11 days ago – which proved to be beyond Feyenoord or Porto this season – Dyer is quietly confident of causing an upset.
He also argues that every fan in the country should get behind the Glasgow giants as they both attempt to reach the last 16 of the Europa League this week.
Dyer believes that their European exploits have helped the country’s top clubs, and that there will be an added cash bonus for the Premiership if they can continue to progress.
“They’ve both done exceptionally well, and it’s good for the game up here whenever the teams who qualify for Europe do well,” claimed the 54-year-old.
“It’s good for Scottish football because they’re shouting it out all over the continent about these results.
“It’s better for everybody. It should help to produce better players, and it can also help us attract better players when they see teams from the Premiership progressing in Europe.
“It’s lifting the profile of Scottish football.
“Another thing it does –with these matches being broadcast live everywhere –is improve the perception of the standard in this country. The success of Celtic and Rangers has taken it up another level.
“It’s also important because it should help to attract bigger and better sponsorship deals for the SPFL, as well as better players.
“So I love it when I see our clubs – all of them – winning in Europe because we all benefit from that.”
Dyer also agrees that beating the Old Firm when some of Europe’s biggest names are unable to emulate that feat helps to make Killie, Hearts, Livingston and the rest a more attractive prospect for signing targets.
“Of course it does, and that’s what it’s all about,” he said.
“Going up against those clubs and beating them or getting at least a draw.
“That shows that the division is getting stronger and that the big two aren’t dominating in the same way that they did before.
“We can go up against them and get results. We beat Rangers 2-1 at Rugby Park the other week so their European exploits would suggest that we’re not a bad side.
“Now we need to go to Celtic Park and do something similar.
“We’ve had good results there before and we’ll have some more there.
“We know it’s Celtic but we’ll go there, stick our chests out and give it the best we can
“They are a good team – but so are we.”
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