FORMER Airdrie striker Andy Smith reckons Celtic should be wary of his son Jack - because he's a better player than he ever was.

Smith, a member of Alex MacDonald's side which went down narrowly to both halves of the Old Firm in Scottish Cup finals in the early 90's, was at the K Park in East Kilbride on Wednesday night to watch Jack score his 28th goal of a prolific season to book the biggest match in the club's history, a fifth round Scottish Cup home tie against the Parkhead side at New Douglas Park, Hamilton. That means that the 21-year-old who had time in St Mirren's youth ranks as a youngster has one more this season than both Leigh Griffiths and Martyn Waghorn

“I don’t go on about my exploits too much because it’s all about him now," said Andy.

"He wasn’t on top of his game on Wednesday but it’s always been a sign of a good player when you can score even though you’re not at your best.

“He’s 21 and I was the same age when I left Peterhead to join Airdrie in the senior ranks," added Smith Snr, a former Scotland B cap who racked up more than 100 senior appearances for both Airdrie and Dunfermline.

"But that’s where the similarities stop because he’s a far better footballer than I was!

"He’s not really a chip off the old block. Jack is a lot quicker, for a start, and he’s a better finisher. He should have a good future in the game. After all these years he’s bored listening to my stories so I’ll need to listen to his now."

The Kilby currently sit fifth in the Lowland League and will be expected to be cannon fodder for the reigning Premiership champions on Sunday February 7 but Smith Snr hopes they can do themselves justice, knowing that the money the tie will generate from the experience will set the club up for the foreseeable future. The tricky Anton Brady played against Celtic in his past life with St Mirren, while striker Liam Gormley once played in a Youth Cup final in the Parkhead club's colours.

“To be honest, I get more nervous watching Jack than I used to be before games that I played in," said Smith. "But at least they can all look forward now to coming up against Celtic.

“I’ve been travelling all over the country watching Lowland League games and there are a lot of really good players in this division," he added. "Maybe some of them don’t want to go into the full-time game but there are others who could easily do it, including a few at East Kilbride.

"That’s the pressure off. They can go and enjoy it now because it will be a great day out for them and a great day financially for this club, which is trying to win promotion to the SPFL.

"The manager, Billy Ogilvie, has said it’ll be an education for them all and it will be but they’ll still want to put in a good performance on the day. It’s important that they show some belief and do themselves justice.

"But, looking at the bigger picture, the most important thing is the money that will come to the club and help them to go forward. The guys who run East Kilbride do a great job and they deserve this.”