Rangers defender Rob Kiernan explains what has prepared him for pressure of Scottish Cup semi-final with Celtic

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The Scottish Championship leaders face their Old Firm rivals for a place in the final of the competition.

Rob Kiernan has claimed that while he has never played in an Old Firm game before, experience in high-stake fixtures during his time playing in England means that he has an idea of the amount of pressure that will be on when Rangers and Celtic meet at Hampden Park in the Scottish Cup semi-final, The Scottish Sun reports.

The Light Blues defender is in his first season at Ibrox, having joined from Wigan in the summer. But he has insisted that he has an understanding of what will be required of him during April's encounter having been part of the Latics squad that qualified for the Championship play-offs in 2014. 

"I haven't played in anything at this level before. But it's not as if playing on a big stage in front of a big crowd and on TV will be new to me," he told The Scottish Sun.

"I've done that before. I know the magnitude of the game up here is massive.

"But when I look back to playing against QPR and trying to get to play-off final with Wigan, those are big-money games. They are some of the biggest games in football so I’ve experienced that pressure and hopefully that will be good for me."

With many of Mark Warburton's squad - including the manager himself - having no experience of the intensity that comes from a fixture against Celtic, the boss will surely be encouraging many of his players to call upon any high-pressure situations they have previously been involved in to help them prepare for what is to come when they come up against the Scottish Premiership leaders.

And while the prospect of an Old Firm semi-final is like nothing many of the squad would have experienced before, the Gers have certainly had to deal with plenty of pressure this term having been overwhelming favourites to win the Scottish Championship title and secure promotion to the top flight.

And having dealt with that expectation impeccably it seems, Warburton will be hoping that his men can once again use the pressure to inspire them. 

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