Anthony Ralston had the best view in the house when Tony Watt blasted his way into the Celtic record books.

The Hoops defender was a ballboy at Parkhead when the striker broke up the pitch and buried Barcelona in the famous win nine years ago.

Watt is now doing the business at Motherwell and Ralston knows the former Celt has the ability to damage the best when the sides square up on Saturday.

The full-back said: “I was young at the time when he was in the team and I was a ballboy at the game that night.

“We know he’s got good quality as a striker but we’re just focusing on ourselves as a team and what we do, that’s the main thing.”


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Watt is flourishing under Graham Alexander at Fir Park and Ralston knows how it feels to have a gaffer’s faith. Ange Postecoglou has brought the best out of the 22-year-old who looked destined to be on his way out of Parkhead.

Instead he’s fired himself into the conversation for a Scotland call-up and he’s hoping to pick up his form where he left off before the international break.

Ralston said: “It’s important confidence-wise to have a manager who believes in you.

“I’m privileged enough the gaffer has instilled that in me throughout the season so far and that’s helped me in the games I’ve played and in the training sessions to learn the style of play.

“I’m taking it all in my stride and trying to put in the best performances I can for the team game by game.

“The gaffer has been great with me on a personal level since coming in and his new style of football has given me the opportunity to be free in that position and learn a new way of playing.

“I’ve really enjoyed trying to learn and I still am learning but it’s important that I just do my best for the team. It’s not about me at all but he has played a massive part in getting me back playing and being in the team which I’m enjoying every minute of doing.”

Ralston admitted it’s sweet to hear folk linking him with a Scotland cap but he’s not getting ahead of himself.

He said: “It would be nice to get the recognition. It is a goal of mine as I’m sure it is for everyone. It would be an honour but my focus is at Celtic and playing each game and doing the best I can for my club. That’s my main aim but it would be nice to get that recognition of course.”

Ralston knows he needs to keep up the good work with Josip Juranovic around and looking to return from injury next week.

He said: “It’s good to have competition, everybody needs competition in their position. It keeps you on your toes and it keeps you striving to be better.

“For everyone involved here, we just want the best for everyone, it doesn’t matter who is playing so I don’t tend to focus on that.”

Celtic ended their long wait for an away win before the international break with the battling victory at Aberdeen. Ralston is looking for another successful trip along the M74 at Fir Park today.

He said: “All the boys have come back in feeling positive. We’ve had a good win but it’s important we push on. We have a really important game and we need to go into every game looking to win. It’s always a tough game playing against Motherwell but we’re ready for that challenge.

“We’re expecting it to be a physical battle and we’re ready to step up and face that. We just need to focus on ourselves and the style we want to play and we’ll go in with the right attitude and the will to win.

“We’ve been great in terms of the games we’ve played in and we’ve learned the style so quickly.

“But I do feel coming into this part of the season we’re now ready to kick on and get the results to go with that as well as the style of play we’ve been producing because it is effective.”