Joe Lewis: Playing in front of 60,000 people is why you become a footballer
New Aberdeen goalkeeper Joe Lewis has settled in nicely at Pittodrie, and as the Dons head to Celtic this weekend, the Englishman is relishing the opportunity to get out in front of a sell-out Parkhead.
Lewis signed a two-year deal from Cardiff in the summer, and has helped Derek McInnes’ men go unbeaten in their opening three Ladbrokes Premiership games, keeping two clean sheets in the process.
All eyes will be on Celtic Park this weekend as last season’s top two meet for the first time.
Speaking to the press during Ladbrokes’ #SPFLTrophyTour in Aberdeen this week, Lewis said he’s not fazed by a 60,000 crowd which will be one of the biggest and loudest he’s ever played in front of.
“I don’t think the crowd will intimidate me. These sort of games are the games you become a professional footballer for, to play in front of 50 or 60,000 crowds.”
Both sides are unbeaten heading into Saturday’s game, with Celtic also negotiating their way into the lucrative Champions League group stages under new boss Brendan Rodgers.
Former Peterborough stopper Lewis reckons Rodgers’ arrival at Parkhead is a good thing.
“I don’t think his appointment was a surprise, but it certainly put more of a spotlight on the league.
“He’s obviously a very good manager and he’s got a very good record. I think the way he plays football, is a way which a lot of people admire.
“I think the decision has made a lot more people stand up and take a look at the Ladbrokes Premiership.”
And Lewis adds that the arrival of such a big-name manager, plus the return of Rangers, hasn’t altered Aberdeen’s approach to the season.
“We need to make sure we’re playing our positive attacking football and getting results, that’s all we can do. What other people do is out of our hands.”
The Dons have won one and drawn two of their opening three fixtures this term, and Lewis says they’re treating the upcoming Celtic clash just like any other.
“We aim to do as well as we can in every game, and we’ll approach this game as we approach any game, no matter who it’s against,” Lewis said.
“We’ll have a look at their strengths and weaknesses like we do all teams and we’ll travel down there on the Friday and look forward to the game on Saturday, it’s the same with any away game.
He added: “It’s the same structure to the week, the only difference is going to be the opposition in the stadium.”
The two sides shared last season’s four meetings, with the home team winning every time.
Lewis however, reckons his side will be ready to challenge on Saturday, having not won a league contest at Celtic for almost 12 years.
“With the character we’ve got in our squad, we’ll make sure we rise to the occasion rather than cower away from it.”
“I’ve only been here a short while, but I can’t see the players freezing on any occasion. We’ve got some courageous players and some great lads in the dressing room so I can’t see that being the case.”
Lewis may be confident, but it seems the bookies make Celtic favourites to extend Aberdeen’s difficult record at Parkhead.
Rodgers’ men are 1/2 to make it three wins from three as they begin their latest defence of the Ladbrokes Premiership.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.