Rangers keeper Jack Butland fires message to Celtic and addresses spat with supporter caught on camera

Goalkeeper says Ibrox club can go toe-to-toe with the champions at Parkhead

Jack Butland insists Rangers can go “toe-to-toe” with Celtic in Saturday’s crucial Old Firm game at Parkhead.

With three cinch Premiership fixtures remaining, the Hoops are three points clear of their city rivals at the top of the table with a superior goal difference of five. After winning 1-0 at Ibrox in the first derby meeting of the season, Brendan Rodgers’ side won 2-1 in the December fixture at Parkhead with a 3-3 draw in Govan last month still fresh in the mind. However, the 31-year-old Gers keeper believes he has seen enough in the encounters to give him confidence going in to the game at Parkhead, where it will be home fans only.

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He said: “I think even in the game in late December when we go down to 10 men, we still showed that we’ve got that fight and that energy to keep going. The fitness levels in the squad and the desire in the squad is to push and keep going. Despite losing that game and the 3-3 in the last one, there’s signs there that we can go all the way, we can go toe-to-toe and we can get a win, there’s no doubt about that. In those games, we’ve given ourselves an uphill battle to begin with. So it’s important we start well, we give ourselves a platform to play, to build and it gives us a great opportunity to get a good result.”

Jack Butland keeps his eye on the ball during Rangers training.Jack Butland keeps his eye on the ball during Rangers training.
Jack Butland keeps his eye on the ball during Rangers training.

Videos on social media appeared to show Butland reacting to something a Rangers fan said to him when he left Ibrox after last week’s 4-1 win over Kilmarnock. The England international, who has built a good rapport with the Light Blues support since signing from Crystal Palace last summer, was keen to play it down.

He said: “When you have a Rangers family as big as it is and you are there with your own kids yourself, sometimes people overstep the mark, especially in front of children and things aren’t acceptable but that’s been addressed, we move on from it and I’ve got no concerns about that moving forward.

“Wherever you go, wherever you have tensions, you have people that want and expect everything from people. They don’t know what’s going on half the time. But to be honest that’s just part and parcel of football. It’s not what this week’s about, it’s not what tomorrow’s all about. Like I said, it’s been put to bed many days ago so it’s no concern for me.”



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