Hamilton manager Martin Canning believes that Rangers January signing Greg Docherty will not be fazed by playing in Sunday’s Old Firm clash if he makes his derby debut at Ibrox.
The midfielder has been a key part of Graeme Murty’s side in recent weeks following his January move from Hamilton and is expected to start in central midfield alongside fellow new signing Sean Goss against Celtic.
Canning worked with Docherty for five years at New Douglas Park as he came through Hamilton’s Academy and thinks the “level-headed” 21-year-old won’t have a problem with playing in the fiery clash.
“Greg will handle the occasion fine. He has a good mentality, he’s very level-headed,” Canning said, as quoted by the Daily Record.
“He never caused one moment of bother at Hamilton. If there was trouble on the pitch, it was never down to him. He would actually be the first one to get in there and try to calm it down.
“When Ioannis Skondras got in trouble against Ross County (the brawl in December), Greg was the one who grabbed him and took him out the road.
“Greg has a calm head and very rarely lets his emotions get the better of him. He’s always in control.
“In that fixture, more than most, it’s very important to be that way. But for any footballer, staying calm stands you in good stead.
“He’s also intelligent and playing in that game won’t faze him. He will go and do his job”
Docherty has been a stand-out for the Gers in recent games after taking Jason Holt’s place in central midfield and his partnership with Goss in the middle of the pitch has been a big part of the Light Blues’ recent free-scoring performances.
The Scotland Under-21 international has already become a huge favourite for the Gers’ support who are looking forward to watching him continue to impress.
Football Insider verdict:
Docherty hasn’t put a foot wrong really since arriving at Ibrox and another impressive performance would be a big step in establishing himself as one of the best midfielders in the country. Despite only being 21, Docherty has amassed a wealth of experience after playing over 100 games for Hamilton and – while it won’t compare with the unique Old Firm environment – the Gers star should be more than cool enough to deal with Scott Brown’s usual attempts at trying to wind opposition players up. Being a lifelong Gers fan should give Docherty that extra little motivation needed to put in a quality performance.