SCOTT Bain, the Celtic goalkeeper, last night shrugged off the row over whether the Parkhead side might refuse their allocation for next month’s Old Firm match against Rangers – and said that such a scenario would only make the feeling sweeter for the players to win the match without them.

It was confirmed at the Ibrox side’s AGM yesterday that there would be no change to the current plans to allocate 800 tickets, reduced than the usual 8000, to Celtic for the match on Saturday December 29 – a situation which led recently to Celtic chief executive Peter Lawwell saying the club might decline the allocation if they felt the safety of their travelling supporters couldn’t be guaranteed.

Bain, who played in a 3-2 win by a ten-man Parkhead side at Ibrox in the corresponding fixture last season, was insistent that the amount of Celtic supporters in the crowd on the day wouldn’t affect the players’ determination to win the match.

“Celtic supporters are fantastic, the best I have ever seen,” said the goalkeeper, who it was confirmed yesterday would play between the sticks during Sunday’s Betfred Cup semi-final. “There’s a lot of away games which are actually like home games because the fans are so loud.

“The fans are obviously a big part, they push you through, and however many fans are there that day I am sure they are going to be loud and I am sure the boys are going to work and play as hard as they possibly can for them.

“I don’t know how it would feel without any fans. But it would be good to win it!

“We will see on the day. I am sure there will be Celtic fans who want to go and watch the game. But fewer Celtic fans also means it will be a bit sweeter once we win the game.”

Bain agreed with his manager Brendan Rodgers when it came to his assertion that the Celtic players had done nothing untoward when celebrating their 1-0 win against Rangers earlier in the season at Parkhead.

A leaked police memo suggested the players’ actions had been the catalyst for unrest.

“We do it after every game,” said Bain, “walk round the pitch and thank the fans for their support. I don’t think we were overcelebrating. I don’t think we were doing anything wrong. We can’t walk to here and then walk back to avoid other fans, we were just walking in a circle. If you want to thank your own fans, you should be able to.”

Designated ‘cup’ goalkeepers don’t always retain their jerseys when the showpiece matches tick around, so the former Aberdeen, Alloa, Dundee and Hibs keeper paid tribute to Rodgers for sticking to his guns.

“We had brief chats about it, nothing formal, but it is great that he has shown faith in me to play in cup games before, so to go another step and play in the final is another

boost, it is great he has that faith in me to play,” said Bain. “We had a chat last season about potentially playing in the cups. The manager has always been a man of his word so I thought I would play.

“Hopefully if we go on and have a good performance on Sunday it could be the case [that I play] but I don’t know.”