ANGE POSTECOGLOU has shrugged off the expected news there will be no guard of honour from the opposition at Ibrox tomorrow afternoon.
The Celtic manager’s opposite number Michael Beale confirmed the champions would not be applauded onto the pitch by his players before the 12.30pm kick-off, as CQN reported earlier today.
Postecoglou acknowledged: “It’s no big deal for me. Those kind of things seem to be a bit symbolic rather than anything real.
“Respect is shown in different ways and we don’t need a guard of honour to know that.
BRING IT ON…Ange Postecoglou is looking forward to the sixth and final Glasgow derby of the campaign.
“There’s respect between the two sides and certainly between the two sets of players. It might be grudging, but they know how hard it is to be successful. Rangers won it two years ago and we have won it the last two years so that respect is there and we don’t need a guard of honour for that.”
Only pride will be at stake in Govan in the sixth and final derby of the campaign with the Hoops unbeaten, winning four and drawing one of the previous meetings. However, the Greek-Australian gaffer is anticipating a difficult confrontation in front of a hostile crowd of 50,000.
Postecoglou, speaking to Sky Sports, continued: “It’s still a big game against our rivals, I’m sure our supporters will want us to put on a strong performance and it’s a chance to continue our form for this year and finish the season strongly.
“We’ll put out a team we think will win the game for us, but it gives us a chance to look at next year and look at things we want to do and give some guys some game time. However, against that backdrop we want to win the game and will put out a line-up we can think can do that.
“Once they’re out there, both sets of players will realise it’s still a game you want to win and they will obviously have a support there and it will be a great challenge for us. There might be more freedom in the play and helpfully that makes it entertaining.”
CROWNING GLORY…Kyogo Furuhashi gets the crucial opener with a flick past Hearts keeper Zander Clark to put Celtic on the road to their second successive title triumph.
Postecoglou added: “The fan aspect certainly favours the home side. When we had it at our ground it was unusual when Rangers scored and it all went quiet.
“That eeriness and quiet isn’t something you usually experience at big games, so, hopefully, we can quieten it down a bit. I still think it will be a great atmosphere and Ibrox is a ground it’s certainly tough to get a result there.”
The title kings, of course, will be without crocked Cameron Carter-Vickers who underwent knee surgery last week and is out for the last five games of the term.
Alistair Johnston, who was injured in the 1-0 Scottish Cup semi-final win over the Ibrox side a fortnight ago, missed the 2-0 title-clinching triumph against Hearts at Tynecastle with Anthony Ralston deputising and that will be the unchanged position tomorrow.
Kyogo Furuhashi, who has claimed five goals in four games this year against the Govan club, limped off in Edinburgh and could sit out this one which may open the door for South Korean international Oh Hyeon-gyu to make his second start.