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  • Craig Gordon hoping Celts can enjoy some Sunday sunshine on Leith

    Craig Gordon hoping Celts can enjoy some Sunday sunshine on Leith

    By: Mark Henderson on 07 Dec, 2017 12:33

  • EASTER Road may have been enemy territory for Craig Gordon for many years but it’s still somewhere that holds many special memories for him.

    It was the ground where he achieved a lifelong dream and made the first of his 52 Scotland caps when he played against Trinidad and Tobago in 2004, and it was also a place where he enjoyed many epic Edinburgh derbies, coming out on top more often than not.  

    Remarkably, it’s been over 10 years since Celtic’s No.1 featured at the home of Hibernian, when he helped Hearts to a 1-0 win over their city rivals in April 2007. That summer Gordon headed south to Sunderland and the English Premier League.

    By the time the goalkeeper returned to Scottish football and joined the Hoops in the summer of 2014, Hibs had been relegated and started a three-year stay in the Championship. 

    With his strong Hearts connection, Gordon knows he won’t receive the warmest of welcomes at Easter Road, when the Scottish treble-winners go head-to-head with Neil Lennon’s side in Sunday’s SPFL showdown seeking to extend their domestic unbeaten run to 68 matches. Nonetheless, the 34-year-old is relishing a return to one his favourite stomping grounds as he explained in an exclusive interview with this week's Celtic View

    How much are you looking forward to returning to Easter Road?
    I made my Scotland debut there so it’s a place that holds some good memories for me. I managed to do fairly well there in my time at Hearts when we did well against Hibs. We didn’t have too many defeats, it was a good rivalry and I enjoyed playing in those games. Easter Road is a good stadium and you get a good atmosphere. They've built the new stand so it should be a good crowd and a good game to play in. Scotland played Canada there and I was on the pitch for the warm-up but I didn’t play in the game so it will be quite a while since I’ve played there.

    As someone who grew up in Edinburgh, is it always a bit more special to go back and play in your home city?
    It is, and I’m sure I’ll have a good reception! But it will be good to go back there and play. I’ve had some good games there and I’ve never had any problems with the Hibs fans. It was always a good rivalry and a game I always looked forward to growing up. That was the one game you wanted to win and I managed to do it quite often in my time at Hearts, with a few big wins, including a semi-final win on the way to winning the Scottish Cup. Those are the ones I will remember from that and hopefully we can go there this weekend and get a result.

    How difficult a test do you expect from Neil Lennon’s men?
    They are a good team and a difficult side to play against on their day. If they get it right then they have a lot of players in their team who can win matches and score goals. It’s one we will have to be at our best for, especially away from home, to make sure we play our game and impose our game on Hibs to make sure we come out with the win.

    Where do Hibs rank in terms of the toughest teams you have played this season?
    There are a few difficult ones we have played this season. Aberdeen and Motherwell who are also at the top end of the league have also been tough. There are no easy games, especially away from home and it’s always going to be difficult. We have to impose ourselves and battle to win the fight to make sure we have the right to play our type of football and the way we want to play. This one is going to be no different, and they have run us close on a number of occasions so far this season and given us good games. The games against Hibs always seem to fall after a European game and it’s up to us to make sure we come back and recover in time to play the next match.

    Read the full and exclusive interview with Craig Gordon ONLY in this week's Celtic View. On sale now.


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