Shay Logan will expect a hostile reception at Hampden Park on Sunday as the player Celtic supporters love to hate, but the Aberdeen defender has tried to avoid a similar situation developing with the other half of the Old Firm ahead of next Wednesday’s league game at Ibrox.
Meetings with Celtic haven’t been without incident for the full-back. Four years ago Aleksander Tonev was given a seven-match ban for racially abusing Logan during a game at Parkhead, while the Aberdeen defender was given a three-game suspension following altercations as he celebrated the Dons’ final-day win there last season.
Then, just last month, the former Manchester City youth team player was at the centre of a social media controversy after a Snapchat video of him saying “F*** the Rangers” was leaked online following Aberdeen’s Betfred Cup semi-final win against Steven Gerrard’s side.
Logan has dismissed that incident as simply banter between friends that was subsequently put out by a stranger to show him in a “bad light” and that in contrast to what might be the public perception, there’s no malicious intent.
Logan said: “The Snapchat thing, it was my friend it was leaked from who is a big Rangers fan. We have banter all the time but it is just one of those things that it got out there.
“People will always try to see the bad in it, whereas there was nothing bad in it. I have no problem against anyone. It is not in my nature to do that. People may think I do, but I actually don’t.
“It was just a thing that escalated and I am sorry if it offended anybody or anybody took it the wrong way but for me, if you see that you can see it is two friends having a bit of banter and that is it.
“Everybody who knows me understands that I literally have nothing against any club or any player. Not just in Scotland. I am a big Manchester City fan but I don’t hate Manchester United.
“I have a joke with my friends about Manchester United, because they support Manchester United. It is never anything bad towards them or their supporters.”
We’ll have to wait until Wednesday night to find out what sort of banter Logan will be on the receiving end of at Ibrox but he will hope to have antagonised Celtic’s supporters a lot more before then by lifting the Betfred Cup at the weekend.
The Aberdeen right-back already has hero status with the Red Army as he was in the side that won the trophy four years ago, beating Inverness Caledonian Thistle on penalty kicks, but that will be greatly enhanced if they end Celtic’s grip on the major trophies.
Logan admits the goalless 120 minutes that preceded that shoot-out in 2014 hasn’t lived long in the memory but what they did that day certainly has and defeating Hibernian and Rangers on the way to this final would make victory even more memorable.
Logan added: “If we beat Celtic we will have knocked out all the big boys in the league which would be a really good achievement and the city of Aberdeen would be living it for a long time.
“They are still talking about the 2014 cup win. No matter how bad the game was no one remembers that, they remember the result.
“I would love nothing more than to bring it home for the fans of Aberdeen and for the city of Aberdeen.
“Celtic might have players who are better than us, but heart-wise I doubt they have a team that has more heart than us. So we have to fight and dig in and hopefully come out with a good result.
“Any time you beat Celtic you know you have played well. Celtic are a team that have that winning mentality and they probably go into these games expecting to win.
“However, we go into the final knowing we have pushed them before, we have beaten them in their back garden.
“Although it may only have been once in how many years, it shows that it can be done. Celtic have lost this season, so they can be beaten. We don’t worry about them, we have to focus on ourselves.”