Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 16 April 2014

Robson hits back at Old Firm critics

Barry Robson claims criticism of both halves of the Old Firm this season has been over-the-top as he backed Celtic to finally start delivering on the park.

Celtic and Rangers have both endured poor results in the Clydesdale Bank Premier League and Europe, with fans on both sides of the divide making their frustration known at recent matches.

Celtic's latest setback came in the shape of Wednesday night's Co-operative Insurance Cup defeat to Hearts as the holders crashed out of the competition at the quarter-final stage to the sound of jeers from their own fans.

Rangers suffered a similar fate last week when they slumped to a humiliating 4-1 thrashing at the hands of little-known Romanian outfit Unirea Urziceni in the Champions League.

But Robson was keen to stress that these are almost the same teams who thrilled supporters with their exploits on the continent not so long ago and that neither have become bad teams overnight.

And the midfielder also pointed out that, for all Celtic's woes — they have won just two games in nine attempts at Parkhead — they still head into the weekend action at the summit of the SPL.

“It was only a year or two ago that a similar Rangers side got to the final of the UEFA Cup and we were playing in the last 16 of the Champions League and it's still similar sides,” said Robson.

“Maybe we are not playing at our best at the moment, which happens in football.

“A lot of the games we could have won. Everyone here is in a positive mood, we are top of the league and if we win our next three games in Europe we will qualify.

“I think we are going to get better as the season goes on.”