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Rodgers must keep his cool in Old Firm heat, warns McLeish

By Julian Taylor

Former Rangers manager Alex McLeish has warned new Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers he must stay cool in the red-hot atmosphere of his first Old Firm derby, insisting that he may have been involved in big games before but nothing will compare to Saturday at Parkhead.

Celtic chief Rodgers will enjoy home advantage, as Rangers hope to shock the Scottish champions.

The Carnlough man has huge big-game experience from his time at Liverpool and has already guided Celtic into the group stages of the Champions League. Victory over their Ibrox rivals would take Celtic four points clear at the top of the Scottish Premiership with a game in hand.

Celtic are favourites in what will be an intense, pressure-cooker environment, and McLeish is backing Rodgers to keep his nerve.

"Brendan has the character and the experience in his coaching career to absorb things," said McLeish.

"He is a good guy and has a cool, collected temperament which he will need in this particular game. But he will definitely find it's unlike anything else."

Rodgers, who roared on Celtic as a youngster, knows he is in for a special atmosphere.

He said: "This game is unique in itself and having supported and felt the emotion of them, they are always tense.

"No matter what you say to players, sometimes the whole intensity and occasion can make it difficult for football.

"But the idea is to go into the game with the positivity we have had, with that boldness that we have had in our game and the approach to the game, and obviously look to get three points."

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