Mark Hateley comments on Celtic v Rangers battle

Old Firm giants meet in Scottish Cup semi-final next month.


Mark Hateley has suggested to the Glasgow Evening Times that the upcoming Scottish Cup semi-final between Celtic and Rangers may not have the same spice as Old Firm derbies should have as a result of inexperience.

Both Glasgow giants were paired together for the last four of the competition, with the contest set to be played at Hampden Park on April 16 or 17.

It will only be the second meeting between the bitter enemies since 2012 - the Bhoys winning a Scottish League Cup semi-final 2-0 13 months ago.

The two teams have undergone transformations in terms of playing staff since a financial collapse saw Rangers demoted several divisions in 2012.

And Hateley, who enjoyed two spells at Ibrox, is worried that neither team has enough players who know what this famous fixture is all about, though he hopes red-hot form from both sides can compensate for the inexperience.

“There are a lot of players here who haven’t played in an Old Firm game. They are naïve to the fact of what this game is all about," he said to the Evening Times.

“But if you take a great standard of form into it, and with form comes confidence, including in the fans, you are going to have that around the whole game."

Before that, though, there are a number of big Scottish Championship games for leaders Rangers, who sit 12 points clear at the summit.

Barring an epic capitulation, Mark Warburton's side should be back in Scotland's top flight next term.

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