Matthews hopes post-mortem helps Celtic avoid another Highland sting

A 400-MILE round trip to face recent cup conquerors Ross County may not be the ideal follow-up to an Old Firm defeat but Celtic full-back Adam Matthews is hoping a series of team meetings over the past few days will help them get back to winning ways.

Celtic face Ross County tonight in the third round of the Scottish Communities League Cup looking to avenge last year’s Scottish Cup semi-final loss to the same opponents and bounce back from a 4-2 defeat by Rangers at Ibrox on Sunday.

Matthews did not play in either game, having joined the club in the summer and missing out on Sunday. But the former Cardiff player is in line to come in at right-back with Mark Wilson both suspended and suffering from a knee injury and he is glad the game has come so quickly after the Old Firm disappointment for Neil Lennon’s men.

“I think it is good for the team, it gives us a chance to put the weekend behind us,” Matthews said. “Everyone is disappointed and it was devastating for the fans but we just need to get our heads on this game and put in a good performance. We have had a few meetings. The atmosphere wasn’t brilliant after the game but we just need to bounce back now. The gaffer has pointed out our mistakes and I’m sure they won’t happen again, so I think it was beneficial for every player.

“He is very passionate but he is good with the players. Obviously the atmosphere hasn’t been brilliant and he has been disappointed but that is to be expected. You can still talk to him about anything.”

Lennon has hinted at changes in the Celtic defence after their troubles against Rangers, but Matthews is confident the back four will come good. “Obviously the more you play with someone the better understanding you get,” the 19-year-old said. “We have a few new faces in defence and it was always going to take time to gel.”