John McGlynn has described Celtic’s decision not to allow any Raith Rovers supporters to attend next week’s Premier Sports Cup quarter-final as ‘disappointing’.
Celtic have cited ongoing Covid precautions and the positioning of season ticket holders ahead of the fixture next Thursday.
While the decision is in keeping with the Hoops’ policy this term — no visiting fans have been permitted for any game at Parkhead — the chances of achieving anything approaching a sell-out would seem slim.
McGlynn, a former Celtic scout, was circumspect but appreciates the frustration of the Rovers faithful after they were denied a first trip to Glasgow’s east end since a 2-0 defeat in September 2015.
“From the fans’ perspective, it’s disappointing,” McGlynn told Courier Sport. “It’s been a while since Rovers have been given that opportunity.
“Paul [Smith, assistant manager] was telling me about the time Raith went there in 2012.
“I left a few months prior [to become Hearts manager] so didn’t experience it that time we were there.
“It doesn’t happen too often and I know the fans would have given us real backing in their numbers.
“It would have been nice for us to have that support, too, and give the supporters the chance to watch us play on that stage.
“But it’s a decision that has been made out-with our control and we’ll just need to accept that.”
Matej Poplatnik set-back
Before McGlynn seeks to mastermind the unlikeliest of triumphs at Celtic Park, there is the not inconsequential challenge posed by Morton on Saturday.
And the Rovers boss has revealed that on-loan Livingston attacker Matej Poplatnik is likely to miss the encounter — further weakening an attacking pool which is already missing Aidan Connolly and Lewis Vaughan.
He added: “Matej [Poplatnik] picked up an ankle injury. He went up for a ball and, as he came down, one of the defenders fell on top of him.
“There is a little bit of damage to the ligaments and it looks like Saturday will come too soon.”
However, it is hoped that winger Connolly could return from his hamstring strain in time to be in contention to face Celtic.