Willo Flood ‘never a Celtic player’

WILLO Flood says he will feel no sympathy for his former club at Pittodrie today as the Aberdeen midfielder doesn’t even view himself as a Celtic old boy.

The Irishman spent a year at Parkhead after being signed by Gordon Strachan, but has largely written off that period of his career as wasted time.

That’s because he was only given the opportunity to make four top-team starting appearances for a club where he was quite clearly unwanted after Tony Mowbray took charge. It’s certainly not the case at Aberdeen where Derek McInnes made the Dubliner a key summer signing in his rebuilding plans, a move that is already reaping rewards.

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Flood marked his Dons debut with the winner against Kilmarnock and would like nothing better than to repeat it in front of a full house at Pittodrie today. And as someone already on his way to hero status with the Aberdeen fans, he admits there will definitely be no mixed emotions if they do defeat the champions.

He said: “I was never a Celtic player. I never played really so I didn’t consider myself a Celtic player if I’m being honest. Football is about opinions. Gordon Strachan really liked me as a player and I have a lot of respect for him as he made me a better player. But obviously when Tony Mowbray came in I wasn’t one of his signings and he had his own ideas.

“I’m disappointed I didn’t get to play as many games as I would have wanted. When you are training all week and not playing on a Saturday it makes no difference whether you are at Real Madrid or Red Bull Rovers.

“If you don’t get a game there is no point being there but everyday in training has an edge for me. It doesn’t matter whether it is Celtic or any other team, I just want to win.

“That’s what I am like. I’ve been impressed by the manager and Tony Docherty since coming here. They are very professional and have got all the lads on side straight away.

“The manager has a will to win, which I have myself, and it’s a case of so far so good for us. But with players like Gregg Wylde, Niall McGinn, Peter Pawlett and Jonny Hayes in the team you know there is going to be good quality going forward.

“We have a bit of drive, pace, nastiness, killer instinct in front of goal, a good defence, decent goalkeepers and good competition for places.”

It’s with that in mind that even Celtic manager Neil Lennon has tipped a resurgent Aberdeen to give them the toughest challenge in the Premiership this season.