Andy Halliday is confident he can control his emotions after getting advice from former Gers greats on how to handle himself.
Rangers midfielder Andy Halliday has fired a warning to Celtic that he will not allow them to provoke him into losing control of his emotions when the arch-rivals meet at Hampden Park on Sunday, as quoted by the Daily Express.
Halliday, a lifelong Gers fan who was born in the Ibrox area of Glasgow, is expected to start for his boyhood side when they take on Ronny Deila's men in the Scottish Cup semi-final this weekend.
The clash between the teams is being billed as the biggest game for either club since they were last both challenging for the Scottish Premiership title, and much has been made in the build-up of how emotions will likely be running high for both sets of players.
There has been some suggestion that the Bhoys will target those Rangers players for whom the derby means more on a personal level by attempting to get under their skin during the match.
However, Halliday, who has the experience of nearly 200 senior games under his belt, insists that he will not be riled despite his burning passion for Rangers as both a player and a supporter.
The 24-year-old said, as quoted by the Express: "Whether Celtic want to provoke me is up to them, but I will take it in my stride. I’m not worried about that at all. I’m 24 and I’ve played quite a few first-team games. It’s a first for me, playing in an Old Firm game, but I’m confident I can control it.
"Everyone’s emotions will be running high, whether you are a fan or not. There’s so much at stake. I look forward to playing. I’ve tapped into the right people’s experience and I’m going to approach the game in the right manner. I’ve spoken to Ian Durrant and John Brown, guys who have been there and done it, and listened to them speak about the Old Firm games.
"I’ve tried to shut up about it. I’ve told my friends and family I’m not talking about the Old Firm until afterwards. That’s because the likes of Ian Ferguson says it’s so easy to get caught up in the emotion that by the time you get on the park you are drained mentally."
Sunday's tie is so important for so many reasons, not least because it is the final Old Firm fixture before Rangers return to the top flight to renew the rivalry on a full-time basis after a four-year absence.
However, it is also crucial in its own right for both clubs' respective seasons; for Rangers, it will be their biggest test of the entire campaign after having strolled to the league and Petrofac cup titles.