Earlier this week, John Kennedy's claim that Celtic, on their day, are 'the best team in Scotland' drew sharp intakes of breath around the country.
For the assembled media, it was precisely the sought-after titbit in the build-up to today's Old Firm Scottish Cup fourth round tie. One can only imagine Steven Gerrard's immediate reaction, after leading Rangers, still unbeaten, to the Premiership in stunning fashion.
In a sense, Kennedy is entitled to his view if you accept, in a one-off derby, Celtic, with their personnel, can overcome their ancient rivals. It goes without saying that those players who have imploded as a consequence of an explosive cocktail of complacency and arrogance owe the club and supporters a performance.
The interim Celts boss wouldn't be doing his job properly if he wasn't dispensing inspirational quotes in order to give his side and a disheartened fanbase hope. As crestfallen as the club may be - 20 Premiership points behind new champions Rangers - what has gone before must be forgotten.
At Ibrox, Celtic have an opportunity to defend the Scottish Cup - belatedly won in December due to the pandemic - which would start to rebuild their reputation, at least temporarily. If successful today, Celts can go on to win the trophy. But how much does it mean in the longer term?
Quite frankly, this has been a season unlike any other for Celtic. It remains to be seen how much collateral damage has been caused. It is also likely that, because of necessary, major summer surgery, few of the current squad will be at the club in 2021/22. Not to mention a new manager. A fresh chapter awaits, and by the time August rolls around the contours around the club will be very different.
The lack of clarity over who will replace Neil Lennon is concentrating Parkhead minds too, with an ominous silence after talks taking place with Eddie Howe.
Yet for the here and now, Kennedy, as Lennon's assistant, having overseen the calamitous shipping of goals all season, must quell the leakages. Today, the onus is for Celtic to attack, show the enthusiasm they were once known for and provide decent service for Odsonne Edouard.
The Frenchman may not have been one of the biggest culprits in the 10 in a row dissolution, but he remains a chief threat to Rangers. Kennedy will demand a starring performance. Few strikers have the same, cool façade in front of goal in the Old Firm environment.
Kennedy hopes that, with a fizzing end to the season - oddly, there are green shoots available to Celtic even within their surreal self-destruction - he will be in contention to land the top job. This is unlikely, and perhaps unfair. In the minds of most Celts fans his association with Lennon amid the dumbing-down on the park implores majority shareholder Dermot Desmond to look elsewhere.
Last weekend's 6-0 victory over Livingston illustrated both Mohamed Elyounoussi and James Forrest's dynamism; so lacking previously as Rangers ran off with the title. And Celtic will take heart from their performance at Ibrox in January when they played very well despite losing 1-0.
Although unbeaten under Kennedy, Celtic are naturally aware that Rangers, with their consistency, vigour and miserly defence are an entirely contrasting proposition.
Dressing rooms in the slipstream of success can, theoretically, become precarious comfort zones. Which is where Gerrard comes in, to remind his charges of two notable facts.
Rangers are, firstly, without a Scottish Cup for a decade and, secondly, the manager has yet to win a cup for the Light Blues. Considering the shock of losing in the League Cup at St Mirren amid a league term of utter dominance, this is potent motivational fuel.
Gerrard's narrative over the last couple of weeks has been one of constant emphasis of forward thinking, in terms of building from strength in player recruitment as well as the obvious challenge of this afternoon. Ryan Jack's calf injury has ruled him out of Euro 2020 action for Scotland, a massive blow for Rangers' clever midfielder, who has made only 24 appearances this season. Fortunately for Gerrard, there is, as ever, Steven Davis.
In defence, Connor Goldson and Filip Helander have been rock solid but must devote their attention on Edouard and Elyounoussi. With a combined 37 goals, their pace and quick feet are capable of causing havoc.
Overall, Kennedy has, though, the bigger sweat. Ibrox attacking trio Alfredo Morelos, Kemar Roofe and Ryan Kent - with sleight-of-foot Joe Aribo potentially sitting just behind - are all in top form. Major questions will be asked of Celtic's regularly suspect defence.
With this being a Cup tie and so much at stake, a raft of goals to accompany the guaranteed drama would be no surprise at all.