Celtic told to embrace consequences of facing Rangers at Hampden

Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou has urged his players to embrace the opportunity to add to their legacy when they face Rangers in the Scottish Cup semi-finals.

Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou.
Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou.

Postecoglou's side travel to Hampden on Sunday with the chance of a fifth treble in six seasons very much on.

Two wins over Rangers this year have helped Celtic move six points clear in the cinch Premiership title race with five matches left.

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A hat-trick of derby wins would leave Postecoglou within touching distance of following in the footsteps of Jock Stein, Martin O'Neill, Brendan Rodgers and Neil Lennon in securing a clean sweep of domestic trophies.

Postecoglou said: "It's a cup semi-final so there's meaning on the end of it, there's consequences on the end of it.

"Every cup game you play, if you want to progress, you have got to perform on the day and get the job done on the day. There's no second chances.

"Particularly in a semi-final, it's going to be a tight game, it's going to be an unbelievable atmosphere.

"The players know the occasion, I don't have to disguise or dress it up in any other way than it's going to be a massive game with massive consequences, and it's exactly where we want to be."

A small band of 700 Celtic fans watched their side win 2-1 at Ibrox earlier this month after a two-year absence of away supporters in the derby fixture.

The neutral venue of Hampden will allow about 25,000 supporters from each side of the Glasgow divide to make an altogether different atmosphere.

"It will be a different experience and a unique one, and again something to embrace," Postecoglou said.

"It's what we all want to be involved in, games where at the end of it, hopefully you make memories that will last beyond your own lifetime.

"That's the opportunity that exists and it's one we are looking forward to."

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