31 Mar Warburton ‘bemused’ by Lennon’s claim
By Craig Turnbull
Rangers boss Mark Warburton says he’s “bemused” by suggestions he won’t be able to handle the pressure of an Old Firm derby.
Earlier this week former Celtic boss Neil Lennon insisted nothing can prepare a manager for the intensity and that Warburton’s lack of big-game experience will hamper their chances.
However, ahead of Warburton’s first Old Firm clash on April 17, he said if he can’t deal with the situation then he shouldn’t be in football.
“You can’t turn around and say you’re ready for it but I’m also somewhat bemused by people who say you won’t be able to deal with it.
“The fact is we’ve dealt with it all season. It’s another game of football, we understand the significance of it, it’s a highly important game for the fans and it’s a semi-final.
“I get all of that but the fact is it’s another game of football if you can’t deal with that don’t be in the business.
“I’ve been involved in many pressurised situations both in and out of football so if I can’t deal with it I shouldn’t be in the job.
“Is it louder, is it noisier, is it a bigger stadium, is it different size pitch are there more goals? It’s just another game of football, nothing changes. What we have to make sure is that our preparation is the same.
“If you walk out to a wall of noise then fantastic, revel in the atmosphere but as opposed to being under pressure just enjoy it.”
Warburton also dismissed claims by Lennon that Celtic would be too strong for Rangers physically.
He added: “That’s his opinion but the fact is we’re very confident in our side and how we’ve faired this season. Our physicality in our minds isn’t in question.”