Celtic say no guard of honour for champions Rangers at Old Firm derby

Celtic have lost both previous meetings with Rangers this season
Celtic have lost both previous meetings with Rangers this season

Celtic will not give newly crowned Scottish champions Rangers a guard of honour before Sunday's Old Firm match, says interim manager John Kennedy.

The derby at Celtic Park is Rangers' first league game since ending their 10-year wait for the title.

Former Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers this week said Kennedy's side should should show "humility and class" by clapping their rivals on to the pitch.

"We've spoken collectively about it and won't do it," Kennedy told Sky Sports.

"It's not about lacking class - it's nothing like that, because we're a club who always show class and dignity and do what's right."

Kennedy cited Rangers' refusal to give a guard of honour to Celtic when the sides last met after the title had been decided, in May 2019.

"I don't think such a fuss was made about it and I don't see it as a big issue," he added.

"Ultimately this same group of players went in as champions and didn't get the respect at that time if you want to call it that.

"They're the same players who've been asked to stand there, so we've decided as a group we'll just focus on the game and put that to bed."

With six games remaining Rangers remain on course for an undefeated league campaign, but Kennedy insists ending that run is "not something we use as motivation".

He added: "Our motivation will purely be competing against our biggest rivals and putting a down marker for going forward.

"We've underperformed at times this season so we need to show the levels we're capable of."

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