Four Old Firm greats have spoken of the magnitude of Sunday’s Scottish Cup semi-final as Rangers look to save their season as Celtic boss Ange Postecoglou looks to write his name in the history books.
Gordon Smith, John Hartson, Peter McCloy and Frank McAvennie all spoke to STV Sport during a charity golf day as the looked ahead to Hampden at the weekend.
Former Rangers player Smith, who spent three years at the Ibrox club between 1977 and 1980, said: “It is a big game, it will be a treble winning season for Celtic. If they win that semi-final I do believe they will win the cup, no disrespect to Falkirk or Inverness but I do think they will go on to win the treble.
“The League title is already sewn up so I think it will be a massive game, and I’m sure Michael Beale is well aware of that.”
Former Celtic forward Hartson, who helped the club reach the UEFA Cup final in 2003 and won six major trophies at Parkhead including two Scottish Cups, hailed the “remarkable” impact of the manager.
He said: “Since Ange has been at the club he has won four trophies already in less than two years, he’s been remarkable.
“I hear him talking about replicating what other managers have done, in terms of trebles, and great Celtic teams over the years and he wants to be the manager to do that with this current Celtic team.
Peter McCloy, who spent 16 years as a player at Rangers before working for the club for another decade as a coach, is worried about the impact a defeat could have.
He said: “It’s going to be a hard, hard season (if Rangers don’t win), he’s got to get a squad of players there who are winners.
“There’s obviously a few positions, although they are doing well, it just doesn’t look as if it has gelled properly yet and I think once he gets that right, it will be good.”
And McAvennie, who scored a final double when the Hoops won the Scottish Cup in 1988, said: “If Celtic turn up and play to the best of their ability, and Rangers play to their best, then Celtic will win.
“I think they have better players, a lot depends on the pitch because I think the pitch was terrible for the last cup. We’ll see, hopefully they can get it sorted and it’s a good game and a good advert for Scottish football.”