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14th Apr, 2018 | 4:16pm

Russell Martin delivers verdict on Scott Brown claim ahead of Rangers v Celtic

Rangers defender Russell Martin has rubbished Scott Brown’s claims that last month’s 3-2 Old Firm defeat by Celtic is in the Gers stars’ heads – and insists the Gers believe they believe in their “strengths.”

Martin missed the Ibrox defeat defeat last month with a back injury but is expected to feature in Sunday’s Scottish Cup semi-final at Hampden when the two sides go head-to-head in the penultimate meeting between them this season.

The 29-times capped Scotland defender admitted the Ibrox loss wasn’t eating away at him, as Brown claimed, as he didn’t play – and challenged his team-mates to prove they want to be at the Glasgow giants.

“It’s certainly not in my head because I didn’t play,” Martin said, as quoted by the Scottish Sun.

“I know what Broony is like, we haven’t beaten them for a while but it doesn’t stop the belief we can. We must demonstrate the progress we’ve made, even since that game, and believe in the game plan and our strengths.

“We need to impose ourselves on the game. We have players who are playing for their futures and are desperate to be at this football club.

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“These games are the ones in which you need to show it.”

The Ibrox giants haven’t won against their bitter rivals in nine attempts since triumphing in the 2016 Scottish Cup semi-final on penalties.

A win at Hampden would take the Light Blues a step closer to ending their seven-year wait for a major trophy and set up a final clash with Motherwell.

Football Insider verdict:

The 3-2 Old Firm defeat is likely sas much in the Rangers’ players’ heads as much as Celtic’s 4-0 thumping by Hearts was next time the sides met. Past results can go either way and serve as motivation or provide cause for concern but ultimately, there’s very little that can be read into them. If Brown genuinely does think that last month’s fixture is eating away at the Gers players, then after a decade at Celtic he should know just how that can be used to their benefit. I mean just look at the way El-Hadji Diouf is still in Brown’s head all this time after leaving Ibrox.

In other Rangers news, this Ibrox legend revealed he was gutted at the news of David Bates agreeing to join Hamburg.

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