Rangers defender James Tavernier thinks a win for the Light Blues at Hampden over bitter rivals Celtic in Sunday’s Scottish Cup semi-final would “possibly” be bigger than when the Gers triumphed at the same stage two years ago under Mark Warburton.
The Gers needed penalties to squeeze by Ronny Deila’s side in the 2016 semi-final to book a place against Hibernian in that year’s final but the stand-in Ibrox captain thinks that, although the Light Blues were in the Championship last time, the recent run of nine games without a win against the Hoops makes this one bigger.
“Obviously, Brendan Rodgers has come in and he’s had some time to improve their team while we have gone through different managers,” Tavernier said, as quoted by the Daily Record.
“But Graeme Murty came in and has laid a good foundation for us to play. He has brought in great additions to the squad and we’ve got stronger.
“You could possibly say that it would be bigger this time if we won. We were in the Championship when we won before, it was the Mark Warburton season and the first time playing Celtic for a while. It was a big occasion.”
The Ibrox side are currently in their seventh season since Walter Smith led them to the Scottish Premiership and defeat to Celtic at Hampden would see them equal that 107-year-old club record.
The winners of Sunday’s Hampden clash will face Motherwell at the national stadium on May 19th after Stephen Robinson’s side cruised past Aberdeen 3-0 in Saturday’s semi-final.
Football Insider verdict:
A win over Celtic would arguably be bigger than the 2016 triumph – although Gers fans will be hoping it doesn’t have the same outcome as 2016 after losing to Hibs in the final. With nine games without a win against the Hoops, Gers fans are desperate to see their side put one over their old rivals. The Glasgow giants will meet once more this season but this is the one that really matters for both teams, with the Gers looking to win their first major trophy since 2011 and Celtic trying to win a historic back-to-back domestic treble.
In other Rangers news, this Ibrox legend revealed he was gutted at the news of David Bates agreeing to join Hamburg.