Rangers striker Kris Boyd knows his team could not match Celtic over a season but sees no reason why they cannot do so over an afternoon.
Boyd admits his side will need to be on their game to avoid a painful encounter in Sunday’s Scottish League Cup semi-final at Hampden Park, the first Old Firm derby in almost three years, since Rangers plummeted down the leagues, and the 400th in all.
Rangers’ cup victories over Scottish Premiership sides Inverness, St Johnstone and Kilmarnock this season have shown they can compete, despite their struggle to keep pace with Scottish Championship leaders Hearts.
Boyd said: “We are on a level right now with the teams we have beaten and over the course of a season we could match them, but I don’t think we could match Celtic.
“We understand where we are but you just need to look at the FA Cup at the weekend. You can be an underdog and go and win games. We feel we have got good players and we can cause them problems. We have a group of hard-working people who will go there and give their best and hopefully that is good enough to get us over the finish line, but we’ll not get carried away.
“We need to go out and match them and hopefully, with that bit of luck, we can find ourselves in the final. But if we don’t go out and match them and we don’t perform to a level where we can stop them playing, we are going to be in for a long afternoon.”
Former Celtic striker Chris Sutton this week said his old side could dispatch their rivals “with blindfolds on”. But Celtic midfielder Stefan Johansen called Sutton’s comments “completely wrong”.
“They will be up for it,” Johansen said. “We haven’t met in three years. It’s going to be a massive game. We need to make sure we are ready. I don’t know if we are the favourites, we don’t think that way.”Reuse content