By James Black
Rangers defender Ross McCrorie has revealed he received a pep-talk from Rangers legend Nacho Novo ahead of his Old Firm debut.
The 19-year-old was thrown into Rangers’ first-team ahead of the clash with bitter rivals Celtic after injuries ruled out senior duo Bruno Alves and Danny Wilson.
McCrorie had only made his debut for the eight days earlier when Alves limped out of the Scottish League Cup quarter-final win at Partick Thistle.
The Scotland Under-21 cap strolled through his debut before putting in a solid display against Celtic in the 2-0 defeat at Ibrox.
The defender revealed former Rangers star Nacho Novo phoned him the night before the Glasgow rivals clashed to give him some advice on how to handle the incredible Old Firm atmosphere.
“Bruno Alves has been great with me. In fact, not just him but all the players,” said McCrorie, as quoted by the Sunday Post website.
“Kenny Miller spoke to me before the Old Firm game, and I even had a phone call the night before the game from Nacho Novo.
“So everyone chipped in and helped me.
“Nacho just told me to stay calm and enjoy it. It’s the biggest rivalry in the world.
“I know Nacho because he comes into training at Rangers sometimes, and has a chat with me.”
Novo quickly became a cult-hero at Ibrox after turning down a move to Celtic Park and formed an explosive partnership with Croatian striker Dado Prso for the Gers.
The Spaniard, who moved to Scotland to join Raith Rovers before heading to Dundee and then finally Ibrox, scored 73 times in 255 appearances for the Gers over six seasons.
During his time in Glasgow, Novo lifted three Scottish titles, two Scottish League Cups and a Scottish Cup and was part of the Rangers side which reached the UEFA Cup final in 2008.
After leaving the Light Blues in 2010, Novo went on to play for Sporting Gijon, Huesca, Carolina Railhawks, Legia Warsaw, Greenock Morton and Carlisle before ending his playing career with Northern Irish side Glentoran.
The 38-year-old is still a regular sight at Rangers’ Auchenhowie training ground and among the club’s supporters at games.