Celtic v Rangers: Hampden crowd split hope for Ange Postecoglou after 'taste' of derby atmosphere

Ange Postecoglou certainly heard the 700-strong Celtic support at Ibrox last weekend and is looking forward to a backing many multiples larger at Hampden next week.

After beginning his Old Firm experiences with an away-fans lock-out, Celtic took an away allocation at Ibrox last week for the cinch Premiership meeting and the Australian felt their presence in the 2-1 derby win.

Rangers will be due a similar proportion when the next league derby is scheduled but Hampden promises something different with a half-and-half split at the National Stadium for the Scottish Cup semi-final next Sunday.

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Postecoglou hopes it is a glimpse of the future with larger representations in the stands.

Celtic took a 700-strong allocation to Ibrox after each team's away fans were locked out of the previous two Old Firm derbies. (Photo by Craig Williamson / SNS Group)

“It will be unique but it will be great,” he said of the 50-50 split atmosphere. “So far we have just had a taste of what it can be. Our 700 were pretty loud the other day and did a fantastic job supporting us. Hopefully we will get increased numbers in all the derbies.

“The Hampden experience will hopefully encourage people to look at that because there is no doubt that in every game if you can have a fair share of supporters from both side it adds to the event.”

The Celtic boss will put their previous meeting with Rangers to one side in Mount Florida though for the chance to make a return later in May.

“With Cup semi finals you know it doesn’t matter what form you are in, it doesn’t matter what has happened the week before, it doesn’t matter what has happened in the previous encounter.

“It is a one off game. There is going to be an edge to it, the atmosphere is going to be unbelievable.

“So those kind of things become secondary. You just know it is going to be a really tight contest and we will be ready for it.

“We have been good all year in rising to whatever challenge is in front of us and this is another one.

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“The confidence we have is in our ability to overcome the challenges we have encountered so far and the semi final will be a big game. We will all be excited about being part of it and hopefully being successful in it.”

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