Bring it on

Celtic defender Erik Sviatchenko is looking forward to the hostile atmosphere he is sure to experience in his first visit to Ibrox.

The Denmark international has played against the Light Blues at Hampden Park and Celtic Park but will make his debut at the Govan ground as the Hoops look to go 19 points clear of their Old Firm rivals at the top of the Ladbrokes Premiership, with a game in hand.

The 25-year-old has experienced derby rivalry before in his homeland and revealed that after he moved from being a youth player at his home-town team Viborg to play for rivals FC Midtjylland, there was an unusual reaction.

“Sometimes there were bananas thrown at my family and things like that. It can be a bit hostile some times,” he said.

And Sviatchenko is confident he will thrive in the altogether different environs of an Old Firm game, at Ibrox, where three of the four stands will be home fans.

He said: “It is my first time at Ibrox and I heard the atmosphere there can be a bit tense so I am looking forward to it.

“I will be fine with that. In my Denmark time in derbies where you are getting shouted at and things like that, it only makes you stronger and want to give your very best.

“Sometimes it is just part of football to get a bit of abuse, so that’s fine.”

Sviatchenko scored his first goal of the season in the 2-0 win over Ross County on Wednesday night with a strike from distance.

At the same time Rangers were being held to a 1-1 draw at St Johnstone.

Sviatchenko understands why boss Brendan Rodgers said the Ibrox result will not matter given the start to the season the champions have had, unbeaten in 23 domestic matches with 14 successive wins.

However, he is determined to finish the year off on a high before the three-week winter break.

“I can (understand) yes but when you win games you want to win every game you can,” he said.

“We know it is a difficult place to play.

“But we will do our best to be where we have been throughout these last couple of months, we have been really, really good.”

Celtic have beaten Rangers 5-1 in the Premiership and 1-0 in the Betfred Cup semi-final this season and Sviatchenko believes the Hoops could be stretching further away from their rivals.

He said: “We have been even better since that (cup) game.

“So if you take that into account it might be that the gap is bigger.

“But you know one game can change that perception.

“So I think it is most important to be respectful and say we are doing our job and Rangers are doing their job and if we are at the moment number one that means something so will be doing our best to keep that .”

No Comments

Post A Comment