Mark Warburton '˜should not fear' first Old Firm challenge

Former Rangers manager Alex McLeish has encouraged current boss Mark Warburton to embrace the pressures of his first Old Firm derby.

Mark Warburton will come up against Celtic for the first time next month. Picture: PA

Warburton’s side will meet Celtic in the semi-final of the Scottish Cup next month with the two clash at Hampden Park.

Neil Lennon stated yesterday that he thought Warburton’s lack of experience in Old Firm matches would count against him as the ex-Celtic manager backed his old side to emerge victorious.

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McLeish rubbished Lennons claims that prior experience is an important factor, though he did admit Warburton will need to adopt the right mindset if he’s going to win the match.

He said: “I don’t believe not having experience in the fixture before is a disadvantage but a lot depends on your mentality. It was a positive challenge for me and not a challenge you should fear.

It’s an absolutely fantastic game for Mark Warburton to have for his first Old Firm derby – a Scottish Cup semi-final. He should just absolutely relish and embrace it.

I don’t think there’s a massive difference in the squads and Rangers are playing with a lot of confidence. They will play football that can make the game much closer than last season.

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