CELTIC KEEPER Craig Gordon has promised he will not be fooled by Rangers’ Championship status if the two clubs are paired in Saturday’s League Cup semi-final draw.
The Parkhead side cruised through to the last four with a 6-0 home win over Partick Thistle on Wednesday night, and will be joined in the hat by their traditional rivals as well as Premiership clubs Dundee United and Aberdeen.
It raises the possibility of a first meeting between the Glasgow giants since Rangers re-emerged at the bottom tier of Scottish football following their descent into administration and liquidation in 2012.
And that has piqued interest in the competition which now goes into hibernation until the end of next January.
Amid continuing and seemingly endless off-field issues at the Govan club, boss Ally McCoist admits he would prefer to give Celtic a miss in the draw while the Parkhead camp appear to have taken a collective decision to refrain from putting Rangers on their wish list.
When asked about the draw, Gordon, who trained at Ibrox before joining Celtic as a free agent in the summer, said: “It doesn’t make a difference, our aim is to try to win the trophy. Whoever we play it’s going to be a difficult game.”
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However, Scotland international Gordon stressed he does not regard Rangers as the easier of the three potential draw outcomes.
He said: “They’re a good team and have good strength in depth in their squad.
“Everybody can beat everybody left in the competition.
“The draw has not been made yet, we’re talking about a possibility (Old Firm draw). Would I relish it? Yeah of course. Everybody wants to play in big games.
“A semi-final is a big enough game regardless of who you’re going to play.
“Yeah, they’re big games (Old Firm) and of course it would be great to get them back and playing them more regularly.
“We’ll need to wait and see if the draw brings us together or whether we go our separate ways and to try to win the semi-finals.
“It’s a few months away, we’ve got plenty of games and time to go in between times.”
Gordon, speaking at the Hoops’ Lennoxtown training complex ahead of the visit of Inverness on Saturday, is looking forward to a return to Hampden Park in the semi-final, no matter the opponent.
The former Hearts and Sunderland goalkeeper said: “That would be great. I’ve managed to do it quite a few times at national level and also a few semi-finals and finals before. It’s a great stadium to play at and I’m sure we’ll take a big support there.”
As he did after the thrashing of Partick, Celtic manager Ronny Deila would not be drawn into calling for Rangers in the draw.
However, the Norwegian, who revealed that Dutch winger Derk Boerrigter is out for two months following a knee operation, offered a reminder that Celtic are performing at a higher level than the Light Blues.
“It is not about Rangers, it is about winning the League Cup,” Deila said.
“We want to win the treble and we will take whatever side comes in front of us. It is you (media) who wants that (Rangers draw).
“It is a semi-final. Whoever we meet, it is going to be big.
“But I think the best teams are in the top division. That’s how it is.
“The teams in the top division are playing at a higher level every week and that is an important thing.
“We play in Europe also where you have the possibility to show yourself against teams with the best tempo.
“But the cup is the cup and you never know.
“Whoever you meet it is going to be exciting and it is going to be two good semi-finals.”
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