O'Donnell relaxed for Ibrox

SCOTTISH FOOTBALL
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The Independent Online
The Celtic midfielder Phil O'Donnell believes that those who keep the coolest head amid the mayhem at Rangers tomorrow night will triumph.

Celtic go into the New Year derby at Ibrox without a win over their rivals in the last eight meetings and needing to close a gap which stands at 11 points, Rangers having played two matches more.

"We all know how big a game it is and we are trying to prepare in the right way," said O'Donnell, who is very much in line to make the side chosen by Tommy Burns after playing three games in eight days following a four-month absence.

The 24-year-old O'Donnell insists calmness will be needed in front of 50,000 fans and millions of satellite TV viewers.

"A couple of the Old Firm games I have been in, maybe I've been a wee bit tense and tight," he said. "You don't do yourself any favours. If you go out relaxed while giving 100 per cent you can do yourself justice."

Like O'Donnell, Paul McStay is back in Celtic's plans after coming through a successful return in Saturday's 4-2 victory over Dunfermline. There are doubts, however, over the fitness of Peter Grant, Jackie McNamara and Andreas Thom.

Walter Smith, the Rangers manager, is able to call on Trevor Steven and Joachim Bjorklund, while Alan McLaren had the benefit of a rest at the weekend following his return from a long injury lay-off.

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