Michael Devlin spoke of “going from one extreme to the other” as he prepared for Hamilton’s trip to Celtic Park in the Ladbrokes Premiership tonight following his team’s recent cup calamity.
The 22-year-old defender returned for the first time since last May after recovering from a knee injury in last week’s shock 4-1 William Hill Scottish Cup fourth-round defeat by Annan Athletic at Galabank, which he described as the “lowest point” of his career.
Devlin is happier to recall his part in Accies’ famous 1-0 win over Celtic on 5 October, 2014, which took them to the top of the league with their first victory in the east end of Glasgow in 76 years.
“Going from one extreme to the other,” he said about the Celtic game. “Annan was the lowest point of my career and I am pretty sure it was the lowest point of everyone in the dressing room.
“It was great to be back although I wish the first game would have been different than it had been.
“I had built that up for months and had been thinking about it all week and was buzzing when I was told I was playing.
“I was fairly depressed after the Annan game but these things happen unfortunately.
“When we played Celtic last season, it was a dream for me and a lot of the boys. I had played with Celtic when I was younger and they had let me go at 16 and then I came here.
“So that made it more special for me. It was an amazing day.
“At that point everyone was feeling great, the confidence was high and we just carried on what we were doing.
“Although it was a great result it wasn’t a great surprise. So we have to take confidence from the fact that we have been there before and won.”
Accies responded from the Annan debacle with an encouraging goalless draw against St Johnstone at McDiarmid Park on Saturday.
Against Celtic, Devlin will be tasked with shackling Hoops’ in-form striker Leigh Griffiths, who has scored 24 goals this season.
He said: “It will be difficult. He is on a great run of form, probably the best player in Scotland and I am sure he will be a handful.
“However, I have a job to do as we all do and we need to try to make sure we do that job.”