Celtic and Rangers stars backed to keep their cool

Scott Brown and Joey Barton will go head-to-head in the Old Firm game. Pictures: John Devlin/SNS

Scott Brown and Joey Barton will go head-to-head in the Old Firm game. Pictures: John Devlin/SNS

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Old Firm managers Brendan Rodgers and Mark Warburton are confident their respective players will retain their composure amid the intensity of Saturday’s derby at Celtic Park.

Celtic and Rangers meet in the Ladbrokes Premiership for the first time on Saturday with a four-year absence of a league meeting between the pair contributing to the intensity of the build-up.

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The trading of jibes between Celtic skipper Scott Brown and Rangers midfielder Joey Barton has added a further dynamic to the rivalry while there are a number of players on both sides - nine fit summer signings in the case of Rangers - who could make their debuts in the fixture.

Rangers boss Warburton said: “It’s a feisty atmosphere. We are going into a local derby with 60,000 fans, 52,500 of which will be backing one side.

“We recognise that. We’re pros. They (the players) are pros, same as you guys in the media. If there’s a major event, are you suddenly going to lose your professionalism and write or report in a different manner?

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“It’s about being consistent in the quality of your work and it’s no different in this industry as well. We have to go into what’s a good atmosphere, on a good playing surface, and deliver a performance. That’s our job.”

Rodgers admits there will be no need to fire up his players.

“You don’t need to motivate them and we have a lot of players that have been around it and experienced it,” the Celtic manager said.

“I really sensed that they can’t wait to get playing and working.

“But of course you have to stay calm to tactically participate in the game. You have to have good composure, you need to be immensely competitive.”

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