'Rangers have earned the right' - Celtic-supporting talkSPORT pundit has say on guard of honour

Scottish Premiership champions Rangers have earned the right to receive a guard of honour from Celtic when the sides face each other later this month.

Giving a guard of honour to league champions before the end of the season is a tradition in Scottish football - as displayed by Hearts at Celtic Park in 2017. Pic: SNS
Giving a guard of honour to league champions before the end of the season is a tradition in Scottish football - as displayed by Hearts at Celtic Park in 2017. Pic: SNS

That is according to self-confessed Hoops supporter Chris Iwelumo, who doesn’t think the Parkhead side will take part in the tradition that sees opposition clubs applaud the title winners onto the pitch in the remaining games of the season.

The Glasgow rivals next meet at Celtic Park on March 21 and the former Scotland striker believes it would show “class” if Celtic chose to pay their respects to Steven Gerrard’s men, who clinched the title with six games of the campaign to go.

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“The next one, an Old Firm match, you talk about a guard of honour,” said Iwelumo on talkSPORT. “I think it’s optional.

“I would be very surprised if Celtic do clap them in. I don’t think it will happen.

Asked if they should, he replied: “It’s a bit of class, you know. I’m a Celtic fan. At the end of the day, Rangers have been the better team.

“They have earned the right to have that respect shown.”

Iwelumo also praised Rangers boss Gerrard for the manner in which he has transformed the Ibrox men this season from a side that finished last season’s curtailed campaign 13 pointss behind Celtic to one that has clinched the title with a 20 point margin.

He added: “There are so many pressures on both teams, Celtic and Rangers. It was a massive season but he’s delivered.

“The players have learned, he’s recruited quality. He’s man-managed them fantastically well. He’s given them a belief to go out and do exactly what they have done, you know.

“They manage games well. They don’t always play fantastically but they get the result. They go out to do it. They know how to get over the line and it’s warranted.

“Can they go unbeaten now, for the rest of the season? Can they do that, the Invincibles? It’s going to be an interesting ask. That’s how he motivates the team to carry on doing in no matter if they have got the Premiership trophy. They have got to keep going.”

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