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Harald Brattback issues Alfredo Morelos Celtic goal drought warning as he makes title admission

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Harald Brattback never managed to score against Rangers in his two-and-a-half years with Celtic.

There was one major reason for that: Andy Goram.

But the Norwegian insists the Old Firm blank didn’t bother him then and doesn’t bother him now.

Which is exactly the mentality he says Alfredo Morelos should employ as his own search for a derby goal goes on at Rangers.

Otherwise the Colombian will never net against the Hoops.

Asked if the lack of goals against Rangers bothered him, Brattbakk said: “No. I missed so many chances. As a striker I knew that I had to miss some.

“If I should have scored it would have been in that first game in Jan ’98 - Andy Goram was in the way of everything for me.

(Image: SNS Group)

“There were a few teams in Norway too that I didn’t score against. It didn’t bother me.

“But if it bothers Morelos then it can get into his head and he will still be without goals against Celtic at the end of the season.”

Drawing a blank against the Ibrox club was one thing.

But netting the Celtic goal that stopped Rangers hitting 10 in a row remains the proudest moment of Brattbakk’s career.

Despite the hero status that followed that pivotal Parkhead moment in 1998 though, the Norwegian says it’s nothing compared to the legend that would attach itself to every one of the Hoops should they manage to hit the magic 10.

In fact Brattbakk admits he would be green with envy if Neil Lennon’s men clinched the next two Premiership flags.

It’s coming up for 22 years since the ex-striker put the seal on a 2-0 win over St Johnstone in the east end of Glasgow to spark celebrations that will be etched in the history of Celtic forever more.

The 48-year-old is now an interested spectator as the Glasgow heavyweights swap roles in the hunt for history.

And he insists all the pressure is on Neil Lennon’s men as they look to become the third side to hit nine in a row this season - then go one better in 2021.

(Image: Sunday Mail)

Asked if he would be envious of the current crop netting two more titles to make history he said: “Definitely.

“Stopping 10 is easier than winning 10. The relief and the emotions are so different from stopping 10 than winning 10.

“I was at Rosenborg for some years and went away and when I came back they won 13 titles in a row. That is amazing.

“My manager was a wise guy and he always said that winning one is something that everyone can do. The hard part is doing it all the time.

“Who’s under more pressure? I think it’s Celtic to reach 10.

“The more you win the harder it is to defend the next title.

“That’s the same with Rangers. They were so close to winning 10, but they didn’t.

“You can always discuss why.

(Image: SNS Group)

“But now, all the eyes are on this. If Rangers win the league this year or not, or next year or not, it’s not the  most important thing. It’s about Celtic being able to continue the run towards the 10.”

Brattbakk was oblivious to the rivalry between the two sides when he signed for the Hoops just five months earlier in a £2million switch from Rosenborg.

While stopping 10 in a row was all that mattered to the Hoops faithful back then, the Norwegian only had one thing on his mind - landing a Scottish title to add to the four he had already gathered in his homeland.

But his first taste of the Old Firm frenzy soon awoke his senses to what this fixture meant to those in the stands.

Celtic’s 2-0 New Year victory over Rangers on that occasion went a long way to determining the destination of the championship. Which is why Steven Gerrard’s side will have a renewed sense of belief having taken the spoils at Parkhead last time out.

(Image: SNS Group)

“Obviously winning games is important towards winning a title,” he said.

“But the most of all when you win the games against your toughest opponent it gives you a bit more of a boost.

“When you look back 22-years you can always look back at that game as a decider.

“The games Rangers have played against Celtic this year can also be decisive towards the end of the season.

“I don’t know how much the players look at the Old Firm games as being more important, but I know that win gave us a head start through the rest of the season.

“It’s going to be exciting - Celtic two points ahead but Rangers playing a game less - and there are still a lot of points to play for.

“I’d heard all about the Old Firm games, but it wasn’t until I played that game myself on January 2, 1998, that I understood how big it is,” he said

“I’ve said to my friends who are interested in football ‘if you want to see one local derby then go to Glasgow.’

“It’s crazy.

(Image: Action Images via Reuters)

“Obviously, there have been some not so good stories as well regarding the fight between the two teams.

“But all in all, the fight on the pitch and the fight towards the league title, it’s amazing. I’m so glad I was able to be a part of it.

“I wasn’t obsessed with 10. I was unknowingly taken into this storm.

“I arrived in December and didn’t know anything about it.

“But we talked about it and it is even more obvious for the local lads, those who have a connection to the city and know the story of the Old Firm from years back.

“It is strange, but we didn’t think of it as winning the title, we thought about it as stopping 10 in a row.

“Stopping 10, though, didn’t feel as the bigger prize for me — I was winning the league for Celtic for the first time.

“And I think on the receiving end of 10 in a row, that’s tough.

“That’s showing now — it is the opposite now to my time.

“But it’s the same emotions.

“I think Steven Gerrard’s right in many respects, it’s an obsession.

“But it’s from different perspectives now.”

Brattbakk dismisses claims this could be the last chance either side has of making history.

(Image: Action Images via Reuters)

“We stopped 10 in a row and we probably said then ‘this is probably not going to happen again,” he said.

“But now it IS happening again!

“So, no, it could happen again.

“But, for the interest of Scottish football, it needs two good teams fighting against each other, like Celtic and Rangers.

“Obviously, I hope for Celtic to win 10 in a row.

“But it’s going to be more difficult if they make it because I don’t Rangers are going to go into the same financial difficulties as they did last time.

“Rangers went down a lot of leagues and I don’t think that’s ever going to happen again.

“So, in terms of that, it’s going to be more difficult for Celtic to ever have a run for 10 again.

“But you still see results and you still see teams doing well that you wouldn’t expect.

“We can meet up again in 10 years time and discuss what happened!”

Premier Sports is the home of knockout football in Scotland, broadcasting the William Hill Scottish Cup and the Betfred Cup. Premier Sports will screen live and exclusive coverage of Rangers v Stranraer (Fri 17 Jan) and Partick Thistle v Celtic (Sat 18 Jan) in the Scottish Cup Fourth Round. Available on Sky, Virgin TV and via the Premier Player. Visit www.premiersports.com for details.

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