Cup fever hits Scotland
Marc Crosas says he is determined to keep his place in the Celtic side after returning from his latest injury setback as the Parkhead giants continue their domestic treble quest in the Scottish Cup.
The 21-year-old has started just ten games for Celtic in what has been an injury-hit debut season in Scotland, following his summer switch from Barcelona. Celtic play a fifth round tie against Second Division minnows Queen's Park at home tomorrow.
After returning to the first team last month, the former Barcelona and Lyon midfielder has earned praise for his performances. And Crosas wants to show manager Gordon Strachan he can have a more influential role to play at Parkhead before next weekend's crucial Old Firm derby.
"I was tired a bit in the first few games when I came back, but I think I have shown now that I am 100 per cent fit," he said. "I played 120 minutes at Hampden last week against Dundee United and I felt okay after it.
"I am working every day to try and make myself a part of the first team. I have to try and keep myself injury-free and get a decent run of games to get myself into the team. All I can do is show the manager what I can do when we train and then he has to make a choice. I have enjoyed the games I have played but I want to play more now."
Amateur outfit Queen's Park make the short trip across Glasgow on Saturday for their biggest Scottish Cup tie in years. The Spiders, who are made up of students and tradesmen, have the chance to cause one of Scottish football's biggest ever shocks by knocking the champions out of the cup. Celtic will be without Shunsuke Nakamura for the clash after the midfielder was given the weekend off to rest before Japan take on Australia in a FIFA World Cup™ qualifier in Tokyo.
On Sunday, Old Firm rivals Rangers take on Forfar at Station Park. The Ibrox side may rest several key players for the tie against the team third from bottom in the Third Division, in preparation for the following weekend's Old Firm clash at Parkhead. The tie, which will be televised, will earn Forfar enough to clear their six-figure overdraft.
Dundee United travel to New Douglas Park to take on Hamilton in an all-Premier League clash. The match has an extra edge to it after Craig Levein's criticism of Hamilton following their last league meeting. The United manager claimed Billy Reid's side were over physical and time wasters, comments that the Accies manager says he will use to motivate his players for the game.
Hearts host Falkirk at Tynecastle and the Jambos will need to pick themselves up from last weekend's defeat to Hamilton, and the loss of captain Christophe Berra to Wolves in a £2.5 million transfer. Finally Motherwell take on St Mirren at Fir Park in another all-Premier League tie.