Weir enjoys pressure as Rangers face crucial night
Thursday 22 May 2008
Rangers were on the brink of a historic quadruple and one of their greatest campaigns a few weeks ago. But David Weir is aware they will be branded failures if they do not wrest the Scottish Premier League title from Celtic's grasp tonight.
Rangers had been red-hot favourites for the title but now head into the final night level on points with their greatest rivals, knowing Celtic's superior goal difference means a win at Dundee United would be enough for them regardless of events at Aberdeen.
A mammoth run of 67 games has seen Rangers win the CIS Insurance Cup, lose the Uefa Cup final and book their place in this weekend's Scottish Cup final.
But Weir knows their season will be judged on only one game – tomorrow's clash at Pittodrie.
"At Rangers, if you are not winning things you are a failure and it's as simple as that," he said. "I think everyone is aware of that and it's the same at Celtic.
"They haven't won anything this season but if they win the league they are heroes and if they don't they are the opposite. That's just the nature of the game.
"Playing for Rangers and Celtic, it's a fine line between being a superstar and being a nobody. The league will be very important in determining that. You can play 60 or 70 games but if the last one doesn't go right, that's the one you are judged on. That's just the business we are all in."
The stakes may be high but Weir believes no-one at Rangers will crack under the strain, insisting huge expectations are par for the course at Ibrox. He said: "You deal with pressure week in, week out. At Rangers, every game is a big game. People have been saying that for the last two or three months now. Every game has been important and this one is no different.
"As soon as this one is out of the way, Saturday's Scottish Cup final becomes a big game. You have to enjoy the pressure. That's why you are at a club like Rangers. If you don't, you are at the wrong place."
A long European run, which came to an end at the hands of Zenit St Petersburg in last week's Uefa Cup final in Manchester, saw Rangers clock up 19 continental outings alone this term.
The sheer number of matches contested this season is bound to have taken its toll but, regardless of what happens at Aberdeen, Weir insists he has no regrets about their epic campaign.
"You can't change the past," he said. "We always said we would take each game as it came and the run in Europe was amazing.
"It was a great experience and playing in a European final was a once-in-a-lifetime thing so we wouldn't change that for the world.
"Obviously it would have been nice to have had the league wrapped up, or be ahead in the league, but we are still in the race and we are happy with that.
"If you look back, the amount of games hasn't helped us, there is no getting away from that. But we are not going to use that as an excuse. We enjoyed it and we wanted it so we are not going to say it has been a problem for us."
At 38, this could be Weir's last chance to claim a league winner's medal, but he insisted: "It would mean just the same to everybody else. I've always said that my age is irrelevant, it's just a number. I don't think I would savour it or enjoy it any more than any of the other lads. It's a big thing and it would be a great achievement."
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