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Celtic Park 'not a lion's den' - Rangers boss Gerrard has no fear ahead of Old Firm showdown

3:52 PM IST 31/03/19
Steven Gerrard Rangers 2018-19
The former Liverpool captain is not afraid of the atmosphere his side will encounter in their crunch derby

Rangers boss Steven Gerrard has dismissed talk of Celtic Park being like 'a lion's den' ahead of the OId Firm. 

Celtic are 10 points clear of Rangers in the Scottish Premiership, and a win for the hosts would all but confirm their status as league champions.

However, Gerrard holds no fear ahead of the crunch clash, despite the intimidating atmosphere the Celtic fans can create, and suggested his players must learn to enjoy such environments.

"I've never seen fans win a football match, it will be loud but it won't be a lion's den," Gerrard said. 

"A lion's den is when four lions jump over a cage and you fear for your life.

"You have to thrive in this atmosphere. If any of my players don't fancy it they are at the wrong club.

"This time we won't have the power of Ibrox behind us which was a big help, but the players have to have that mentality to go and get the job done.

"If you go in with the wrong mentality you won't win these games. You have to take responsibility individually and collectively.

"We understand the gap in the league, for us, it is can we affect that? Celtic are clear favourites and this is probably our last opportunity to make it more interesting than it is at the moment.

"It is a better feeling winning away. I thrived on the environment when everyone is against you."

Gerrard also confirmed that assistant manager Gary McAllister would be absent from the technical area during the Old Firm, having ordered his right-hand man to stay at home and focus on recovery after being on the receiving end of an unprovoked attack in Leeds city centre.

"I took the decision out of Gary McAllister's hands, he won't be with us at the weekend. 

"It is a shame but he has to focus on his recovery and we can't wait for him to return."

Rangers won the first Old Firm of the season at Ibrox 1-0, courtesy of a Ryan Jack strike on the half-hour mark, and will be hoping for a repeat of that result.