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27 May 2022

Celtic boss hopes Old Firm clubs increase away allocation to restore 'traditional derby atmosphere'

Celtic boss hopes Old Firm clubs increase away allocation to restore 'traditional derby atmosphere'

Celtic boss hopes Old Firm clubs increase away allocation to restore 'traditional derby atmosphere'

Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou hopes larger away allocations for fans can restore the traditional derby atmosphere in years to come against Rangers.

But he insists there is no reason why his team cannot repeat the sort of approach they showed last time out against Rangers in front of their small band of visiting supporters at Ibrox.

Celtic blew Rangers away in the first half of their previous meeting in front of 60,000 of their fans at Parkhead, scoring three goals without reply.

Postecoglou is looking for the same impact when his men run out in front of nearly 50,000 Gers fans and around 700 Hoops supporters on Sunday.

Rangers ended the tradition of both clubs taking around 7,500 tickets for each other’s grounds in 2018 and the pandemic ensured there were no away fans over the past two years.

Sunday will be the first time there have been two sets of fans inside the stadium for a derby clash in Glasgow since December 2019.

But Postecoglou said: “It’s a bit of a stretch saying both sets of fans. We will have about 700 in there, who no doubt will make an impression.

“Yeah, look, it’s great. When you look at all the derby games around the world, that’s what makes them a little bit special, you obviously get some parochial support from both sides.

“It would be great if we can increase that number over the next few years but just to have 700 there will be great for us.

“I am sure they will make a noise and make an impact but irrespective, the atmosphere will be great, that’s what makes these games special.”

When asked how difficult it would be to repeat their most recent derby performance in front of a partisan Ibrox crowd, Postecoglou said: “I think, to be fair to us, we have been doing that every week, irrespective of where we are playing.

“If people have seen us take a different approach then they probably haven’t been watching closely enough.

“Our approach has been the same whether it’s home or away and it will be the same on Sunday. We will set up our team to try and impose our football on the game because that’s what gives us the best chance of success.

“It’s not about adjusting what we are going to do, it’s about ensuring the game is played in the areas we want it to be played because that gives us the best chance of success.”

Celtic lost 1-0 at Ibrox in August to a Filip Helander goal but have gone 30 domestic matches unbeaten since losing at Livingston two weeks later.

“You approach every game with the intent of trying to win, and the first game was the same,” Postecoglou said. “And we weren’t far off it.

“I know we we didn’t win and we weren’t going through a great run, but there wasn’t much in the game to be fair.

“A lot of things have changed since then and things change quickly in football in general.

“Nothing that happened last week or the week before is going to be a massive factor on Sunday. What’s going to be the biggest factor is how we perform on Sunday.”

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