Celtic boss takes aim at Rangers with 'bigger budget' jibe as Gers urged to relish Hampden semi final

Rangers Women and Celtic Women face each other in the Scottish Cup semi final at Hampden Park this weekend. Cr. SNS Group.Rangers Women and Celtic Women face each other in the Scottish Cup semi final at Hampden Park this weekend. Cr. SNS Group.
Rangers Women and Celtic Women face each other in the Scottish Cup semi final at Hampden Park this weekend. Cr. SNS Group. | SNS Group
Rangers Women play Celtic Women at Hampden Park in the Scottish Cup semi final this weekend.

Celtic Women boss Elena Sadiku has taken aim at Rangers as she urged her team to end their treble dream at Hampden Park in the Scottish Cup semi final this weekend.

Already two points ahead of their Old Firm rivals in the Scottish Women’s Premier League title race, the Swedish head coach could end Rangers’ treble hopes this weekend while also taking a huge step towards her first trophy as Hoops boss this weekend.

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“It will be a tough game, a close game,” said Sadiku. “It will be very exciting for the fans that are going to show up. That’s what I am thinking about. The derby games are big, it is something we know is going to be tough. It is going to be an open game.

“I am aware they (Rangers) want to win the treble this year. I understand why they want it, they’ve been talking about ‘the best team on paper’ and the investment they’ve been doing so that is something I understand.”

Sadiku is hoping to follow in the footsteps of her predecessor Fran Alonso by retaining the Scottish Cup for a historic third year in a row and the Swede believes the Celtic fans will have a big say in ensuring are finalists come Saturday afternoon.

“The fans mean everything. That have a big impact on our group,” noted the 30-year-old. “It is a great team we are going to be playing against. We are looking forward to it. These are the games we want to play.

On the blue side of Hampden will be Rangers and their captain Nicola Docherty. The full-back has already tasted success this season by lifting the Sky Sports Cup earlier this year and has urged her players to relish Saturday’s clash with rivals Celtic as they go in search of a historic domestic treble.

“I’m looking forward to it,” said Docherty. “A great stadium and I’ve played here with the national team before. It is great for the women’s game in Scotland in order for it to grow. I’ve told the girls it is a huge pitch, which is to our advantage as we play expansive, possession-based football. It is a great place to be. We are well prepared.

“We have a semi final on Saturday and it is another chance to make it to a final. When you’re at Rangers Football Club, it is a club build on a history of winning things. Hopefully we can go on to put in a good performance on Saturday.

“It was a huge honour (to win the Sky Sports Cup). As a Rangers fan growing up to do that was a huge honour. My family were there to watch, it was a really proud day for me and the girls who put in the effort to make it happen.

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“I’ve played in so many Old Firm fixtures and sometimes tactics can go out the window. It comes down to who has the mentality on the day. From a player’s perspective, if you turn up with the right attitude, that goes a long way in these fixtures. It comes down to these small details.

“It could be a huge psychological boost for us. For us to get a positive result on Saturday, that can spur us on and give us the belief. Jo (Potter, head coach) has given us that belief since day one, she has so much trust in us but sometimes you lack that as a player. Jo has been brilliant with that - hopefully we show that this weekend.”

Rangers Women vs Celtic Women face each other in the Scottish Cup semi final this Saturday with coverage live on BBC Scotland from 12pm.

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