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Scottish Cup

Rangers hero Billy Dodds makes an interesting claim about Graeme Murty’s semi-final line-up

Rangers manager Graeme Murty during the Scottish Premier League match between Celtic and Ranger at Celtic Park on December 30, 2017 in Glasgow, Scotland.

Rangers were defeated 4-0 by Celtic at Hampden Park.

28 Mar 2001:  Billy Dodds of Scotland celebrates scoring during the World Cup 2002 Group Six Qualifying match against San Marino played at Hampden Park, in Glasgow, Scotland. Scotland won...

Former Ibrox hero Billy Dodds believes Rangers boss Graeme Murty stacked the midfield in their semi-final clash against Celtic because he has little faith in his back four, the BBC report.

The Gers headed in to their Hampden Park clash with Celtic having failed to beat their Old Firm rivals in their previous nine meetings – a run of form which evidently affected Murty’s line-up.

Instead of looking to attack Brendan Rodgers’ men, Rangers instead opted to play three central midfielders and have them sit deep, with a bid to protect the back four and keep a narrow shape.

Rangers manager Graeme Murty looks on from the touch line during the Scottish Cup Semi Final match between Rangers and Celtic at Hampden Park on April 15, 2018 in Glasgow, Scotland.

It was a tactic while ultimately proved costly, as Celtic were allowed to pass the ball around freely, utilise the wide areas with little pressure and force Rangers into making defensive mistakes.

Speaking to the BBC, former Ibrox hero Dodds claims Murty set up his team due to a lack of trust in his back four but it ended up having an adverse effect as their own attacking game was stifled.

“Celtic have been brilliant, they have turned up and are passing the ball really well. Murty has put three midfielders in there and we thought they would press high, but they have sat back and tried to do the defenders' jobs,” Dodds explained.

“What does that say about the back four? That sends out a message that they don't trust the back four. Scott Brown has had a cigar out.”

Rangers manager Graeme Murty looks on during the Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership match between Rangers and Kilmarnock at Ibrox Stadium on March 17, 2018 in Glasgow, Scotland.

The idea of frustrating Celtic and hitting them on the counterattack may have been what Murty had in mind, but such tactics can only be accomplished if the defence remain solid throughout.

Unfortunately for the Gers, basic errors from Russell Martin and Ross McCrorie gifted Celtic a 2-0 lead at the half-time interval and the latter’s dismissal early into the second half put an end to the contest.

The 4-0 scoreline didn’t flatter the Hoops in the end, and frustratingly for Rangers supporters, they will know they have been soundly beaten without even attempting to put Celtic under any sort of pressure.

Ross McCrorie of Rangers fouls Moussa Dembele of Celtic and a penalty is awarded to Celtic during the Scottish Cup Semi Final match between Rangers and Celtic at Hampden Park on April 15,...

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