'Celtic were never mentioned' - Kris Boyd grilled over Aberdeen-Rangers comments as Chris Sutton makes ban wish

Sky Sports pundit Kris Boyd has defended his comments on Aberdeen's rivalry with Rangers. (Photo by Ross MacDonald / SNS Group)Sky Sports pundit Kris Boyd has defended his comments on Aberdeen's rivalry with Rangers. (Photo by Ross MacDonald / SNS Group)
Sky Sports pundit Kris Boyd has defended his comments on Aberdeen's rivalry with Rangers. (Photo by Ross MacDonald / SNS Group)
Sky Sports pundits clash Kris Boyd and Chris Sutton clash over Aberdeen-Rangers rivalry

Kris Boyd has defended his comments made in the aftermath of Aberdeen's 6-0 defeat at Celtic Park that the Dons players will be "up for it because Rangers are in town" during an on-air grilling ahead of the match at Pittodrie.

Boyd was joined in the Sky Sports studio by former Celtic striker Chris Sutton and ex-Aberdeen captain Joe Lewis, who spent seven years with the Granite City club before departing at the end of last season.

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The former Dons goalkeeper was quizzed by presenter Eilidh Barbour, who referenced Boyd's comments, made prior to the international break, before asking whether it was true that Aberdeen players tried harder against Rangers than Celtic.

"Absolutely not," Lewis replied. "I think you're probably comparing their results against Celtic to their results against Rangers. They are two completley different teams. Celtic in the last number of years have been a far better team. Maybe easier is not the word to use, but it's been easier to play against Rangers. They give you more opportunities and they've been a much weaker side and that's probably why you've got the better results against them."

Asked by Barbour to explain his comments, Boyd stated: "A lot of people have focused on what I didn't say, rather than what I did say. Celtic were never mentioned. Us usual, because they've got to be involved in everything ..."

Sutton then interjected: "Well, what was your point then because the stats don't back it up, do they?"

Boyd replied: "The point was, against Kilmarnock, Aberdeen were rubbish. Yes? Against Celtic they were rubbish. They'll have no problem today. A lot of people have focused on what I haven't said, or what I've supposed to have said because it was a game against Celtic, rather than what I have said. They'll have no problem coming out here today and being up for it."

Both of Aberdeen's defeats to Kilmarnock and Celtic followed Europa Conference League fixtures on the Thursday night, but Boyd did not accept this as an excuse.

"I'm fed up being told that Aberdeen are a big club," he said. "If you want to be a big club And you want to play in Europe you have to deal with those things."

Pressed by Lewis if he really thought Aberdeen tried harder against Rangers, Boyd added: "Do I think they try harder? I think because the stadium's at fever pitch... I've been up here not as a Rangers player, and I've been here as a Rangers player. There is no doubt there is a hostile ennvironment around this place, probably from the Monday until the game begins."

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Lewis then added: "There is a better atmosphere here for Rangers games above all else which maybe helps the team. Rangers players and managers last season commented on the atmosphere here. Whether that affects them, it shouldn't do. Thet play every week at Ibrox which is a loud stadium. I think Rangers need to look at their own performances against Aberdeen rather than Aberdeen's against whoever else.

"I can only speak for myself. I didn't cross my mind. From Monday to Saturday it didn't cross my mind until it gets to two or three days before and you start chatting about the opposition team. There's no difference to the build-up at all. There's no difference in the attitude. I think Rangers have been poor against Aberdeen. I don't know what their problem is. It seems to be their bogey team, maybe."

Reflecting on his former club's 6-0 defeat to Celtic, Lewis added: "It was embarrassing. It was a really poor performance. It's a different kettle of fish today because they are at home. When they play Celtic at home it's a similar atmosphere, probably not quite as hostile."

Boyd then had a dig at Sutton, who was served a lengthy ban by the SFA in 2003 while a Celtic player after accusing Dunfermline of "lying down" to Rangers during the 6-1 defeat which brought the league trophy to Ibrox.

"You're obviously speakthing through experience," Boyd quipped. "Maybe I'm accusing teams of lying down, so is that maybe the way it came across? Should I just have came out and said it.

Sutton replied: "I got a six-game ban for that. I wish you'd be banned for six months!"



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