‘Celtic thumping means nothing if we don’t win the league’

Rangers boss Mark Warburton insists a Scottish Cup hammering of Celtic would mean nothing if they don’t win the Championship.

Warburton’s men have been given a mouth-watering encounter against their fierce rivals in the semi-finals of the Scottish Cup and will be looking to avenge last season’s Cup defeat to the Hoops.

It’s league business for Rangers this Friday against Morton as they look to extend their 12-point advantage but Warburton is adamant that the Championship takes priority over the semi-final as they look to wrap up the title as soon as possible.

“It is a great game for the players, one of the world’s biggest derbies, no doubt about that but it is many weeks away and as far as we are concerned there is a lot of other work to do before now and then,” he said.

“Right now it is about, we have a job to do.

“You could have a scenario whereby you could go into the semi-final, you could win by seven goals, if you don’t do your job in the league, you have had a shocking season.

“Our aims at the start of the season were not to win a cup final, of course go as far as you can in a the tournament, but our aim was clearly about the league and you can’t lose focus.”

Warburton admits he has sympathy for his Old Firm counterpart Ronny Deila after the Norwegian has come in for some fierce criticism for his team’s performances this season.

“I have never met Ronny, I am sure he is very aware of what is involved when you take the job like Celtic or Rangers,” he said.

“Again you set your targets at the start of the season, and one of the target will be to win the league.

“They have been at the top of the league, they are in a cup semi-final.

“Everything will be geared towards the league aspect of it, but again has he had a shocking season?

“I am not going to talk about another club’s business but I just feel sympathy that he has achieved on a number of fronts and all I hear is criticism.

“I think a manager like Ronny deserved more than that.”

Warburton said it would be unlikely that Waghorn could be back in time to face Celtic, asked if he would be available, he said: “I doubt that. We are not going to rush him back.”

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