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Stuart Findlay believes Celtic will be desperate to return to form

Kilmarnock v Celtic – Scottish Premiership – Rugby Park
(Image credit: Jeff Holmes)

Kilmarnock defender Stuart Findlay spent his formative years in football at Celtic thinking only winning was acceptable.

So he knows that his opponents on Sunday will be putting more pressure on themselves to get back to winning ways in the league than they will feel from outside.

But Findlay feels he and his Killie team-mates have had a winning mentality themselves in recent years and will go to Parkhead with belief.

Celtic’s slump in form has been pored over in the media and on social media and a group of fans have protested outside their stadium over the past two Sundays.

More fans have intimated they will show their frustration at Neil Lennon and the Celtic board before Kilmarnock’s visit this Sunday and the players have also been caught up in the anger.

Celtic said some players were “shaken” after being targeted by missiles as they left Parkhead following the recent Betfred Cup defeat by Ross County, and some fans chased the team buses following last weekend’s draw with St Johnstone.

Celtic secured only their third win in 13 games during Thursday’s Europa League dead rubber against Lille and Findlay knows the Celtic players will be desperate to get back to normal on domestic duty.

The 25-year-old, who had loan spells with Morton, Dumbarton and Killie before leaving Celtic for Newcastle in 2016 without making a first-team breakthrough, said: “Obviously it’s different when you’re a youth player because you have not got the media scrutiny of winning every week, but playing as a young player, it’s not even the demands of the supporters, it’s the demands you put on yourselves.

“It’s weird, when I went on loan for the first time to Morton, and we draw the first game away to Falkirk, everybody was saying it was a great point. It took me a while to get my mind round not winning every game.

“And I know that Celtic players will be thinking that. Yeah, with the media and fans there might be a bit of pressure on them, but if it’s the way I can imagine it would be, they will be putting pressure on themselves.

“That’s the thing I have tried to take with me throughout my career since I left Celtic.

“Yes, a lot of people expect you to win but more importantly as an individual you expect to win every game of football that you play. I can’t see that being a bad thing to take into your career and I have tried my best to take it with me.

“At that age I was lucky to be part of a successful youth team that won quite a few things and winning was just what you did when you were coming through the youths at Celtic.

“I have gone on loan to two sides who were bottom half of the Championship at first and you start to have a different mindset of sometimes a point being a great result.

“But it was amazing, when Steve Clarke came in at Kilmarnock, for the first time since I left Celtic I had that proper feeling of we expect to win every game.

“Even though the manager has left for a couple of years, I know the squad we have at Kilmarnock, we expect to win every game.

“Even if we are not the strongest team on paper, we know we can beat teams and I’m glad the mindset is like that.

“We might not have had the results we want all the time but we know what we are capable of and I think that’s a very good thing to have at a club like Kilmarnock, that we are always striving to get higher up the league, and it’s something we are still aiming to do.”