Kranjcar, just another game

Niko Kranjcar has already tasted the Celtic Park atmosphere and aims to stifle its impact when he and his Rangers team-mates play there on Saturday.

Kranjcar’s first visit to Parkhead came before his playing days but the Croatian believes he can also detach himself from the emotion of Saturday’s Ladbrokes Premiership derby.

The 32-year-old told Rangers TV: “In ’98 I went there as a supporter of Dinamo Zagreb to watch a Champions League game. Dinamo Zagreb lost 1-0 but we beat them at home 3-0 and that was the first time Dinamo Zagreb qualified for the Champions League and my dad was the manager.

“It was a proud moment for me as a kid then and back home in Zagreb I was the ball boy as well behind the goal.

“So yeah, I have great memories from the two-legged tie and I must say I enjoyed the away leg. It was a great atmosphere on that day, a Champions League night as you would imagine, so that’s my memories.”

When asked what he was expecting from Celtic Park, Kranjcar said: “A great atmosphere, a game which will be tough to call, I think that all derby games are.

“So yeah, not much different to any other football game other than the big rivalry that it is in the stands.

“As players and the way we are going to go about it in playing terms, it shouldn’t change a lot.

“We need to be better than them and this is a great test for us as a team to see how far we have come.”

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