Former Celtic captain Tom Boyd has torn into Rangers manager Graeme Murty for giving the Hoops all the motivation they needed to go on and win Sunday’s Old Firm clash.

The Gers went into derby day brimming with confidence after a fine run of form in the league and cup, with much pre-match talk focused on whether the Light Blues could topple their fierce rivals for the first time in nine matches, a feat which they were unable to achieve as Brendan Rodgers’ men ran out 3-2 winners.

It had been revealed by Murty that the Rangers squad were left cheering and hollering when Celtic’s name came up as their semi-final opponents for the Scottish Cup, but Boyd has slammed the former youth coach for handing the Hoops’ team talk to them on a plate, and was full of praise for his former side.

He told the Daily Record: “You don’t ever give the opposition a motivational speech – and
that’s what he did. Not that Celtic needed it.

“There was a level of cockiness and optimism about them and it’s proved to be unfounded. That’s probably part of Murty’s learning curve. It was as damaging a defeat as any at Ibrox for them.

“It was an excellent performance by Celtic. The team did their talking on the park with the quality they showed.

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“Celtic have the extra quality as well as a top manager – which makes the difference. Rangers also have a very inexperienced man in charge.”

The two sides meet again in the cup semi finals in four games time on the 15th April at Hampden Park.

Football Insider verdict

Boyd may well have a point over Murty’s decision to reveal the excitement behind the Rangers squad’s excitement of pulling the Hoops out in the cup draw, but whether it had an effect on Sunday’s result is another matter entirely. Rangers looked like they could go toe-to-toe with Celtic for much of the game but in the end the Hoops’ quality shone through, and it likely would have gone that way regardless of Murty’s comments. Still, the Gers manager has another derby day under his belt, and will be hoping to take all his experience so far into April’s crunch cup clash. 

In other Rangers news, the boss is eyeing up a senior switch after one man was slammed against the Hoops.

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