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‘DON’T WRITE OFF RANGERS’, NICHOLAS

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CHARLIE NICHOLAS has warned Celtic not to write off new Rangers in Sunday’s League Cup semi-final.

The former Hoops hero pointed out the FA Cup exits of Manchester City, Chelsea, Spurs and Southampton to underline that shocks do happen in football.

Nicholas said: “There could be an upset.

“I would be amazed if it did happen although after the weekend we’ve just had I shouldn’t be.

“But it’s different in Glasgow where the pressure will be on both sides.

“Rangers are trying to get to the higher heights in Scottish football.

“They are a league below Celtic and their quality is a lot less than Celtic’s.

“Celtic’s financial muscle has moved on, although Celtic’s team has not moved on.

“They have actually come back the way in the last two or three seasons, but looking at what each team has, they rely so much on people like Lee McCulloch who is 36.

“He lacks pace at the back, but has been great for Rangers (sic)

“However, Celtic have all the muscle and the best quality so they should win, but the pressure is on both because Rangers fans will be there demanding they put up a real good fight.

“This will not be a footballing classic, but what it will be it will be intense, with lots of drama and red cards.

“I would be astonished if there are no red cards so the whole thing will be dramatic.

“It won’t be a footballing spectacle and I just hope for the sake of Scottish football that it’s trouble-free both before and after the match.

“That is the most I want out of this although it would be nice to see if we could get a proper game between two giants of Scotland.”

Asked if he thought new Rangers would gain promotion this season from the Championship, Nicholas answered: “No, I think they will falter now.

“They are not going to bring in any players and I think they need an injection of players and the ones who are running the club are not prepared to put in financial muscle.

“They need two or three players and I think they could easily lose out on the play-offs.

“At the start of the season, Ally McCoist brought in players such as Kris Boyd and Kenny Miller, experienced goalscorers to get them out of the league and move on.

“But I look at their side now. The defence is average, the midfield is very average and they are not scoring a lot of goals and their only real talent, Lewis Macleod, has just gone to Brentford.

“So, they are really struggling and the crowd, who will turn up this weekend, have not been following them with any good joy.

“But if Celtic have an off day and they are up for the battle, it could easily be taken right to the wire.”

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