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‘SCARE WILL REBOUND ON IBROX SIDE,’ INSISTS HOOPS COACH KENNEDY

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CELTIC will put the “fright” they received in the 1-1 draw against Sevco Rangers on Sunday to a good use when they meet the same opponents in the Scottish Cup semi-final next month.

Brendan Rodgers’ side didn’t fire on all cylinders as they failed to beat the Ibrox outfit for the first time in four outings this season.

The stalemate – with an 87th-minute strike from Clinton Hill cancelling out Stuart Armstrong’s first-half opener – brought the champions’ 22-game winning run to a halt.

But Hoops coach John Kennedy reckons the result will now rebound on the Govan side at Hampden on April 23 as the Parkhead men zero in on their first treble in 16 years.

He said: “It gives everyone a little reminder because when you are on such a high, everything is going perfectly and you are getting result after result, sometimes a little of fright can do you the world of good.

“We never take any game lightly, especially a game against Rangers (sic). It just gives a little reminder that if we come off it even slightly and Rangers (sic) are on it, it’s going to be a game.

“It certainly gives us an eye-opener going into the semi-final.

“It wasn’t a case of us taking the foot of the gas. It was just our performance was sub-par for the standards we’ve set.

“Every player out there was giving everything they had. Rangers (sic) gave us problems, we had periods in the game when we got control, but towards the end we lost that and were giving too much away.

“Rangers (sic) probably deserved a point out the game, that’s me being honest.

“But our objective now is to go into the next game, take care of Dundee, and the Rangers (sic) game will take care of itself when it comes around.

“But it will mentally prepare us probably slightly better.”

Kennedy accepted their Glasgow rivals deserved a draw, but made the observation that ultimately Pedro Caixinha’s side fell a further two points behind Aberdeen in the race to be best of the rest.

He added: “Obviously, they’ve been under pressure and they’ve come in for a lot of criticism this season, so maybe that’s the reason they were celebrating.

“People probably wrote them off before the game, but we didn’t – in house, we were preparing as best as we probably could.

“Looking at the result in context, though. We’re still unbeaten in 35 domestic games while the reality for Rangers (sic) is that they’ve fallen two points further behind Aberdeen and that gap has opened up.

“But it’s about ourselves and us only. The bigger picture is that we look after ourselves.

“We’re 25 points ahead of Aberdeen and 33 points clear of Rangers (sic) and we’ll just keep motoring on until we get the title wrapped up.”

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