Rangers boss Steven Gerrard has confirmed newly-crowned Scottish champions Celtic will not be given a guard of honour.
Ibrox on Sunday hosts the 417th Old Firm derby a week after Celtic wrapped up their 50th championship and eighth in a row.
Gerrard’s first Rangers season: Five things to know…
- Steven Gerrard was named Rangers manager in May 2018.
- It was his first senior role in management having served as a youth team coach at boyhood club Liverpool.
- He’s so far overseen 58 matches in all competitions.
- James Tavernier is his most used player (58 matches) whilst Alfredo Morelos (29) has scored the most under him.
- Sunday will be Gerrard’s fourth Old Firm derby; his record: won one and lost two.
By securing this season’s Scottish Premiership title with a 3-0 win at Aberdeen, it meant The Bhoys first game as winners takes place at the home of their fiercest rivals.
For many, it seemed The Gers will give Celtic a guard of honour, which has become commonplace across Europe, but the gesture of goodwill wasn’t going to happen.
Given the intense hostilities shared between those who follow the clubs, it wouldn’t have gone down to well among the home support, so the powers that be made the decision which Gerrard has supported.
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“To be honest with you my thoughts on it are not important on that subject,” he told reporters.
“The club have made a decision on that and decided there won’t be a guard of honour, so my thoughts are irrelevant.
“I will follow what I’m told to do by the people in charge of the club.”
A strong finish?
Rangers are guaranteed to finish second in Gerrard’s first season at Ibrox meaning it’s their best finish since returning to Scotland’s top-flight in 2016.
Also, with Rangers currently nine points behind Celtic with two matches remaining, they’re on course to continue narrowing the points deficit. It went from 39 (2016/17) to 12 (2017/18) and potentially as low as six this season.
Gerrard also became the first Rangers boss to take three points off Celtic since Ally McCoist in March 2012. A narrow 1-0 last December, courtesy of Ryan Jack, saw The Gers end a 10-match winless streak in the league against their biggest foes.