'The players were not one bit nervous ­ I knew we would win'

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The Independent Football

Clyde's manager, Graham Roberts, relished his side's victory as a vindication for his players, most of whom had been released by bigger clubs, and hailed it as the greatest feat of his 14-year managerial career.

"Nothing will ever beat this," said the 46-year-old former Tottenham, Rangers, Chelsea and England defender (right), who took over at the Broadwood Stadium last May.

When he arrived, the club had recently been saved from going bust, and with finances tight, were on the verge of going part-time. "I persuaded them [the directors] that that wasn't the way to go. I convinced them that we could have full-time footballers on part-time wages and Joe [Miller, my assistant] and I set about achieving that. I think we've showed how far we've come today.

"Everyone who came here today saw a team oozing passion and with a desire to win, and that was us. We stopped Celtic from playing their game and took it to them. We were quicker to the ball. The energy was too much for them.

"In the first half they hardly had anything, one header. I said to the lads afterwards that they've shown all those managers who let them go what they can do.

"Tom Brighton [a 21-year-old striker released by Rangers last summer] was fantastic, the best player on the park. But I'm not picking him out. Every one of our lads was tremendous. These fellas are playing football for £150 a week in some cases.

"They're doing that because they love the game and they want to be here. They've shown character today. They can take a lot of pride in what they've done."

Asked about Roy Keane's debut, Roberts said the Irishman had not been mentioned at all in the players' build-up. "As part of preparations for this game, his name did not get a single mention. I never spoke about him to the team." Roberts said that after watching Celtic play Hearts a week ago, he knew that Clyde were capable of upsetting the Scottish Premier League leaders. "We saw some flaws and weaknesses at the back last week and I knew, with our pace and energy, we could beat them."

He added the confidence that he and Miller had, turned to nerves before kick-off, although his players were never anything but confident.

"They were not one bit nervous and were laughing and giggling. We were nervous for them. I knew we would win."