Brendan Rodgers throws Celtic doors open to Buckie as dressing room speech goes down a storm with Graeme Stewart

Beaming Buckie boss Graeme Stewart showered praise on his players after watching them go toe-to-toe with Scotland’s champions.

The Highland League minnows went down to a 5-0 thumping at Parkhead as their Scottish Cup fairy tale story came crashing to an end. But Stewart was left bursting with pride with the nature of his side’s performance – and thrilled that it took Celtic almost 25 first half minutes to score the breakthrough goal.

Stewart said: “We only had one training session to play in that shape, with five at the back because we’ve never played that before. Normally we dominate possession like Celtic did today. So we had one training session Friday night and then a few meetings last night in the team hotel. I thought they were superb, though I don’t want to get carried away. When the draw came out I said we have to enjoy it but not get caught up in it, and I don’t think we did.

“When you get to 25 minutes and it’s still 0-0 you think, ‘This is happening here!’. But overall, I thought the attitude was tremendous, in the dressing room the boys are out on their feet and cramping up.”

Buckie could have been punished even more brutally had Celtic not had four more goals chopped off for offside. But the boss insisted it was part of his plan. He went on: “Yes, that was part of the game plan – but more than we would have liked. I gave them too much information for one game, trust me. I gave them about four hours of stuff. I thought they handled it perfectly. They are all clever, intelligent players.”

And Stewart revealed how he was blindsided by Brendan Rodgers’ decision to give skipper Callum McGregor an unexpected day off. He laughed: “It certainly messed up my team talk because so much of it was about him.

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