Man­agers call for calm after visit from po­lice

Play­ers re­minded of their re­spon­si­bil­i­ties

The Herald - Sport - - FRONT PAGE - HUGH MACDON­ALD AND MICHAEL GRANT

BOTH Old Firm man­agers have laid down the law ahead of the League Cup semi-fi­nal at Ham­p­den on Sun­day.

Po­lice vis­ited both clubs this week and Ronny Deila, the Celtic man­ager, said last night: “The po­lice made it clear to us that if we do things that cause trou­ble it will al­ways have con­se­quences.” He has also banned his play­ers from Twit­ter.

Kenny McDowall, the Rangers care­taker man­ager, said of the po­lice visit: “We get the warn­ing.’’

McDowall, who has been on the side­lines of Old Firm der­bies for five years un­der Wal­ter and Smith and Ally McCoist, said: “I just hope the foot­ball comes out on top and there’s noth­ing on the out­side that tar­nishes it. It’s been a long time com­ing and we need to make sure foot­ball is the win­ner.

“It’s im­por­tant that ev­ery­one keeps a lid on it and re­mem­bers foot­ball is the im­por­tant bit.’’

He said the po­lice had told play­ers “the job they have to do and what they aren’t al­lowed to do. We get the warn­ing. I was in the meet­ing.”

Deila, who will be ex­pe­ri­enc­ing his first Old Firm match as man­ager, pointed out that Dundee United and Aberdeen, who contest the other semi­fi­nal on Satur­day, had also been vis­ited by po­lice. How­ever, he con­firmed he had spo­ken to his play­ers about dis­ci­pline.

“We have talked about that and it is im­por­tant – dis­ci­pline is al­ways im­por­tant. They get tested more in th­ese games and that is why it is even more im­por­tant to be dis­ci­plined and fo­cused and con­cen­trate on the right things,” he said. He added: “I have said in the past we want to have a peace­ful game and it’s im­por­tant that we be­have re­spect­fully and in a good man­ner. Then every­body can go to the game in peace.”

The Nor­we­gian said the club would do ev­ery­thing to keep the sit­u­a­tion as calm as pos­si­ble.

He added that it was not just about what hap­pens on the pitch but also “what you do on the in­ter­net, Twit­ter, what­ever. Those are things we don’t want to be a part of this week.”

Of the febrile at­mos­phere of a Glas­gow derby, he said: “Win­ners don’t only play with their heart, they play also with their heads. We have to do both. That’s the most im­por­tant thing.”

Deila is “very con­fi­dent” that his play­ers will stay fo­cused. “Some­thing like 60 per cent of them have played in this derby be­fore,” he said. “They have played very im­por­tant matches.”

He added: “And they have ex­pe­ri­enced this. I have a cap­tain [Scott Brown] who knows what this is all about so I am quite con­fi­dent that we are go­ing to play with good dis­ci­pline. We have not had any prob­lems with that this sea­son.”

Delia, who has watched Old Firm matches on YouTube to pre­pare him for the at­mos­phere, added that John Collins and John Kennedy, his as­sis­tants and both for­mer Celtic play­ers, had told him about Old Firm matches, adding: “I think it is go­ing to be much louder than I am used to but that is why I am man­ag­ing.”

BRING IT ON: Ronny Deila, left and Kenny McDowall at Ham­p­den yes­ter­day

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