In one respect, all managers are the same…..they are not good after a defeat!
Jock Stein was no different to the rest, so, on Monday 17th August, it would have been a bunch of very wary full-timers who made their way to Parkhead for the first training session after the rather disappointing 1-2 loss to Dundee in the opening match of the League Cup.
Normally, the coach or manager gives the squad a hard time on a day like that – not always intentionally, often a way of working out their own frustrations – but even that was ruled out as the second match of the campaign, against Motherwell at Celtic Park, would take place two nights ahead and he did not want a bunch of tired players on his hands..
The players would have done some pretty firm work and then received a talk – which could have been something of a reprimand – about the performance in Dundee the previous Saturday. And I have no doubt that importance of the forthcoming game against Motherwell was mentioned too.
When the session had ended, Jock Stein spoke to the press but was apparently quite calm, merely stating that ‘no major changes would be made to the side against the Steelmen’.
When asked specifically about Joe McBride possibly playing, he was non-committal.
‘Cassius Clay flew into Glasgow Airport today and was met by hundreds of fans – and a ladies pipe band!’
Evening Times 17th August 1965
The first team would have been back again on the following day but this time merely for a light work-out.
The reserve team players also did some light training on the evening of 18th August but as we had won 3-1 on the Saturday, the atmosphere was entirely different. A light work-out in those days consisted of some easy lapping to loosen up the muscles, then a few 100 yard runs down the straights – not at full tilt – before finishing with a little sprinting, although again we were not at full power.
A squad would have been chosen to turn up on the following evening at Celtic Park, from where the bus would take us to Fir Park in Motherwell for our second match. I would stress, though, that we were never told the side in advance, as the theory of the time was that this would keep every player interested right up the last half-hour before kick-off.
Anyway, it was an easy night at training and I felt good afterwards, a mood made even better when I managed to grab the front seat in Tony Taylor’s Reliant Robin for the run into town. That meant I could look around me on the journey rather than have my head down on my chest, as those in the back seats had to do
When I got home, though, I had to disappoint my father. The one thing my Dad wanted to know was whether Ronnie Simpson – who he thought was a great keeper – would be in goal again for the reserve team? However, I am afraid I could not answer that question, as Ronnie – although he worked as a sales rep with a company – trained with the full-timers in the morning.