Skip to main content

Ryan Kent reckons Old Firm will still be fast and furious without fans

Celtic v Rangers – Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership – Celtic Park
(Image credit: Jeff Holmes)

Ryan Kent believes there will be fireworks at Celtic Park on Saturday regardless of there being no fans to light the blue touch paper.

The Rangers ace has thrived on the powder-keg derby atmosphere during his time in Glasgow but it will be a different picture this weekend as the Old Firm line-up for their first ever behind-closed-doors clash.

But even with the terraces lying empty, Kent expects to see a full-blooded affair.

The Light Blues winger – who has netted on his last two Parkhead visits – said: “Obviously it is going to be a bit different to what it has been before. I think the fans make this fixture and it is one of the biggest derbies in the world because of the fans.

“Regardless of the fans being there, I expect the intensity and the aggressiveness in the game to still be there.

“The Old Firm is a game where you want to feel the way that the fans are feeling, you want to show the love for the game that the fans have.

“This fixture is special up here and that is passed on to the players so when you step out onto the pitch in these games you feel that buzz and excitement and you want to go and put on a performance and get a result.”

Kent struggled to justify his £7million price tag last season but this year the former Liverpool ace has started in menacing fashion, contributing five goals and five assists so far.

Celtic have an electric wideman themselves in the shape of right-back Jeremy Frimpong but Kent is backing himself to come out on top.

“I don’t think it really changes my style of play or my gameplan going into this game (who I am up against),” he said. “He is a good player, very quick, good agility.

“But it doesn’t really change the way that I play. I will find the pockets that I need to get on the ball and hopefully be effective.

“I think in terms of my output in the games, in terms of numbers, it is the best position I have been in since I have been at Rangers.

“The start to the season I’ve had, hopefully I can have a good impact on the game this weekend and get myself on the scoresheet or make a good impact for the team.

“I think even if I am not having a good game I always feel confident, that is the way I have to be and the way I approach the game. If I am not confident then I am not going to affect the game.

“I might lose the ball five or six times on the bounce, but there might be one occasion where I get success and that is the way I can affect it.”

Rangers lead their bitter rivals by a point having played a game more and Kent is well aware how high the stakes are for both teams this weekend.

“There is probably pressure on both teams, their fans want them to go on and achieve (10-in-a-row) and our fans are expecting us to stop it,” he said.

“In this fixture, it is whoever turns up on the day and with the success that we have had there before I think we can go there and get the job done.”