What a weekend for Scottish Football as Celtic take on Hearts at Hampden tomorrow in the Scottish Cup Final and with no fans in the stadium it should make for a better atmosphere than usual at the national stadium.

It’s not just the atmosphere that’s been criticised but also the pitch and at times it has been bumpy, patchy and dry with a lack of volume on the big occasions. Luckily it can relax a little as Andy Halliday’s hair will be there to take the shine off it on this occasion.

It’s not only the pitch I feel sorry for, let’s spare a thought for the floodlights at Hampden that will be outshone by Lee McCulloch’s new teeth for 90 minutes. I think big Jig’s new gnashers are a kick in the balls to every direct opponent whose own teeth he’s bashed in throughout his career.

In all seriousness, I’ve a lot of time for Andy and Lee and they’re two of football’s good guys who can have a laugh at their own expense. I’m delighted Lee’s back at a big club and it’s a great fit. Carrying the pressure of being at a massive club won’t faze him as he carries something big every day earning him the nickname Jig. I like speaking football with the big man and I know he’s a good coach with good ideas and has so much enthusiasm for helping players improve – and for football in general.

Hearts as a team will be quietly confident tomorrow with staff and players who have played in big games and situations previously in there careers. Stevie Naismith has turned out on the big occasion for Rangers and Everton. Liam Boyce has played his part in big tournaments for Northern Ireland.

Craig Halkett has managed to get a half-fare under the glaring eyes of the strictest bus driver in Gary Holt and Craig Gordon has, as David Marshall recalls, managed a 147 on the snooker table on the PlayStation while roommate Marsh was sitting there waiting for a lapse in concentration to even get a chance in amongst the balls.

Hearts will be well-drilled under Robbie Neilson who I think is a very good manager and will go into the game with a plan on how he thinks they can beat Celtic. However, I do think Celtic will have enough as it seems the feel-good factor is back and there’s no doubt that a large part is down to the emergence of David Turnbull and Ismaila Soro. Both are infectious in how they play and have made a massive difference both on and off the ball.

In a time where everyone is obsessed with blaming managers and tactics these two have shown that a willingness to run both on and off the ball goes a long way to getting good performances and results.

If Celtic do manage to win the cup though surely to rub salt into maroon wounds a rendition of Sunshine On Leith should be played on Gavin Strachan’s laptop as his dad and uncle did a great job in writing and signing the smash hit.

This fixture has played a bit part in my bang-average career without anyone ever knowing it. My first experience was in the stand at Tynecastle when me and Mikey McGlinchey were the 19th and 20th men on 250 quid a week but 600 quid a win. 

I have never been so desperate for Celtic to win games of football. After being 2-1 down we manage to get it back to 2-2 with two minutes to go. I’ve managed to walk my way down to the Hearts players’ lounge and with Celtic in the ascendency I start to spend the 600 quid in my head, upgrading my boxers from Firetrap to Pierre Cardin for the Christmas night out to follow. 

The ball breaks wide to Stephen Pearson... there and then I’m thinking of my family’s disappointed faces unwrapping the cheap presents I’ve managed to muster up because of Pearos erratic behaviour. By the gift of God he manages to not only control it but also manages to get the ball into the box with a left-foot curly toe. 

Stephen McManus then tries to control the ball and with big Mick’s usual first touch it goes anywhere and ends up in back of the Hearts net! I go mad and jump up and down in the Tynecastle players’ lounge at the sheer thought of being able to afford a Slazenger polo shirt to match the Adidas Sambas I’d already bought my old man a week before Christmas.

I was then on the bench a year later for Celtic at Tyncastle where I’m sure the kit man had to do a double shift trying to clean my Sloggi underpants as I sat for 90 minutes s******* myself at the prospect getting the call from an angry Gordon Strachan. I vividly remember avoiding eye contact with him as Marc Crosas went down injured with Gordon opting to tell a kit man who played centre-mid in a staff game once to go get warmed up ahead of a young Dundonian as I warmed up along the Tynecastle touchline to the shouts of “Who the f****** hell are you?”

I’m sure the real footballers who are out on Sunday won’t be having the same nervous thoughts as they go looking to be the guy who wins the cup for their respective clubs.