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Celtic boss Deila wants a peaceful Old Firm showdown

By Ronnie Esplin

Celtic boss Ronny Deila is hoping for peace in Sunday's keenly-awaited Scottish League Cup semi-final against Rangers at Hampden Park.

Tensions will be high at the national stadium ahead of the first meeting between the two clubs in almost three years since Rangers re-emerged at the bottom of Scottish football following their descent into administration and liquidation.

The Norwegian revealed that, in a bid to minimise any possibility of trouble at the game, Strathclyde Police had visited Celtic to remind the players and management team of its responsibilities.

"We have talked to the police but they have been to every other club in the semi-finals," said Deila, although Aberdeen boss Derek McInnes and Dundee United's Jackie McNamara were unaware of any visit to their respective clubs ahead of their meeting on Saturday.

"It is a football match, with a lot of emotion and it should be that. I hope it is going to be peaceful. That is what we want. (The police said) we are responsible (and) to keep it peaceful. To be aware and understand what is important and that is what is happening on the pitch.

"Everything we do to cause problems can affect other people."

Asked if the police had requested him not to go on the park after the final whistle to celebrate with the Hoops fans in what has become his customary manner, should the Premiership leaders win, the former Stromsgodset manager said: "No, but I have said many times first of all we have to win. We have to concentrate more on that and we will see after the game.

"I will never do anything to offend the Rangers fans. It is about celebrating with your own fans and not doing anything wrong to the others. Respect is a big thing. We will show it and hopefully Rangers will do the same."

The Hoops boss added: "To win is everything. To win 4-0 or 1-0, it doesn't matter to me. It is about a good performance and winning the game. It is one game and everybody is dreaming of a fantastic result but the only thing I am dreaming of is a win."

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