Sport

Whittaker will relish Parkhead support

Ronnie Esplin

STEVEN Whittaker looks forward to an evening of role reversal when Scotland take on the Republic of Ireland at Celtic Park on Friday night.

The Norwich City defender will have the vast majority of the 60,000 crowd on his side as Gordon Strachan's men look to take a significant step towards qualifying for the 2016 European Championships.

However, as a Rangers player before he moved to Carrow Road in 2012, Whittaker (pictured) was understandably given no encouragement by the home fans during Old Firm games at Parkhead, with Ireland winger Aiden McGeady one of his Hoops' opponents on several occasions.

While the 30-year-old Canaries player will occupy the home dressing room at Celtic Park, Scots-born McGeady, now at Everton, will be the visitor.

Whittaker, set to play right-back in the absence of the injured Alan Hutton and Phil Bardsley, noted a "different feel" to the fixture.

"I think that is why it is being built up to be this huge spectacle," he said. "It is not normal but both sets of players will be determined to win the match.

"Aiden is not the only one who we have to look out for, they have a few quality players in attacking areas of the park.

"I have come up against Aiden before and I have enjoyed the matches and it is something to look forward to on Friday night.

"It will be a bit different but it is obviously an arena that I am comfortable playing in."

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