Just as with the Highland club’s 3-1 loss on their own patch to Celtic three weeks earlier, an Alex Iacovitti headed strike meant the Dingwall side didn’t roll over. And it meant a little more than that for Mackay, who compared how his team continued to compete after finding themselves 2-0 down in the first period to the 9-0 carnage that ensued when this happened to Dundee United on Sunday. And pointed out how Iacovitti is a man alone in the Scottish game in this campaign.
“We stayed in the game,” said Mackay. “There are times when Celtic do that [go a couple of goals up] and can run away with it, we saw that at the weekend. But we were resilient, we stayed in the game. And second half, we decided to make a couple of changes and went man for man all over the pitch.
“For 45 minutes, to go man for man against the league champions, who are about to play Real Madrid, and play the way we did, and cause them the problems we did, and score - we are the only team in the country to score against Celtic, and we’ve done it twice now. The momentum was with us [before Celtic’s two later goals]. I’ve got to be proud of them for that. We’ve played Celtic twice, Rangers and Hearts in six weeks and at no point have been out of the game.”