Former Rangers striker Kris Boyd says that a derby victory for Celtic may not be enough to save Ronny Deila’s job.
The Parkhead boss has drawn criticism this season for his side’s performances and Boyd reckons that even a semi-final win against his old club would be no guarantee of Deila remaining in the dugout.
“I don’t think this game will make any difference on what Celtic are going to do in the future. I can’t remember the last time I read a positive story coming out of Lennoxtown.
“When you look at the season that Celtic have had, it doesn’t look good. Something’s got to give.
If they win, it might paper over the cracks for a few weeks, but the Celtic fans, the ones that I know anyway, aren’t happy with the way they’ve been playing and with the way things have been at the club.
I think a lot of the fans have made up their minds already.
If Celtic are playing in front of 15,000 in the quarter final stage of a cup, I think alarm bells will be ringing for the Celtic board right now”.
Matches between the pair have been a rare sight since Rangers’ demotion to the bottom tier of Scottish football. The last time the sides met was in February of last year, shortly after the dismissal of Ally McCoist after a dismal run for Rangers.
Boyd was sat on the bench that day at Hampden where he watched his team comfortably beaten 2-0.
One year on, things are looking up for the Ibrox side, sitting 12 points clear at the top of the Championship table and having run rampant against Dundee as 4-0 winners. However Boyd is adamant that form has no bearing come kick off;
“Form goes out the window when these games come around. I know a lot of people will have their favourite based on recent matches, but as someone who has played in them, I can tell you that it’s about the team that wants it more on the day that has the best chance of winning.
“Rangers have set out to attack their opponents all season and get forward, and I can’t see that changing. With the pace they have in their team, I think Rangers will be able to hurt Celtic more than Celtic will be able to hurt Rangers.
“I fully expect a Rangers team full of belief. They’re a close knit unit, they believe they can do anything right now and rightly so because of the way they’ve been performing.
You saw on Saturday, they were excellent right from the word go and it can go a long way in football. It’s the same as we’ve seen with Leicester this season, having a tight-knit group can go a long way.
Whereas you look at Celtic, with the amount of bodies they have, they could field three or four different teams”.
Boyd admitted that the derby has been a loss to the Scottish game in recent years, and stressed the importance of the famous clash felt around the world;
“I think everyone will be looking forward to it. It’s a great occasion when it comes around.
“Scottish football, for the last few years, has been doom and gloom. It’s not been great to watch.
“Everyone needs this fixture back and Rangers back at the top. When you look at the fans worldwide, you know it’s going to be a massive occasion, regardless of the division.
“As a spectacle for Scottish football, it’s great. Perhaps we would have liked this to be the final, but you’d expect whoever wins to go on and lift the trophy. I’m really looking forward to the game, it should be a cracker”.