Dalglish bans negativity

 

Kenny Dalglish has banned all negative thinking ahead of his first Old Firm game as a manager and wants Celtic to develop a siege mentality for Rangers' visit to Parkhead.

After Celtic's defeat to Hibernian on Sunday, tonight's derby fixture appears to represent their last realistic change of pushing their Glasgow rivals hard in the season's closing weeks, but Dalglish is reluctant to bill the contest as a win-or-bust affair.

Although not about to play down the importance of the fixture with Celtic trailing Rangers by nine points at the Scottish Premier League summit, Dalglish has told his players to remain positive and to unite for the cause.

When asked if he feared his standing among the Celtic support might suffer in the event of defeat, Dalglish said: "The memories of me coming here and playing football will never be taken away from those who support the club.

"People are continually trying to drive wedges between certain factions of the club. The longer we stick together, then the better chance we have and the more everybody will enjoy it when we correct things."

He went on: "Although there is still disappointment from Sunday, the players have now got the chance to vent their frustration tomorrow night. Sunday's result has not ruled anyone out of contention for tomorrow."

Rangers manager Dick Advocaat is also stressing that his team will go out with a positive attitude, even though a draw would be a good result for them. "If we go out there for a draw we will lose," he said.

Advocaat, who fielded a team made up completely of non-Scottish players last weekend, will avoid this by calling on Barry Ferguson tonight.

Advocaat's biggest decision centres around his front two and whether he should bring back Billy Dodds for either Rod Wallace or Seb Rozental.

Italian Lorenzo Amoruso will lead the side after coming through the match with St Johnstone unscathed and will renew his central defensive partnership with Craig Moore, who returns from suspension.

Dalglish virtually ruled out any prospect of Swedish international Henrik Larsson making a surprise and emotional return from injury after his rapid recovery from breaking his leg in Lyon last October.

"I don't think Henrik will be involved," he said. "The first person we have got to be fair to is Henrik."

Dmitri Kharine strained his knee ligaments at Easter Road and is likely to miss around four to six weeks with a further scan on the injury planned for today.

Stewart Kerr or Jonathan Gould, who is likely to confirm his return to the fold after a brief stay on the transfer list, will play in goal.