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Sunday, November 7, 1999 Published at 09:14 GMT


Wright aims to silence lion's den

Wrright relishes the big stage - but needs to control his unpreditable moods

Celtic newboy Ian Wright travels to Ibrox for his first Old Firm derby knowing the stakes could hardly be higher.

Wright has lapped up the heated atmosphere of the Scottish Premiership since his emergency call-up to the ranks of the Bhouys and will be desperate to show his relish for the big-time with a goal on Rangers home turf.

Wright's ability to hold his notoriously short temper could be crucial should the hostile atmosphere from the stands be reflected on the pitch.

But the former Arsenal striker has the motivation of knowing three points for Celtic will see them leapfrog Rangers to the top of the table - and ensure him an even bigger reception on his return to Parkhead than when he arrived.

Celtic have scored more and conceded fewer than their Glasgow enemies but are a single point behind the leaders.

Both sides have been rocked by the loss of their top strikers - Rangers' Michael Mols joining Celtic's Henrik Larsson on the long term casualty list, with a knee injury.

Mols' absence is less of a blow to Dutch coach Dick Advocaat, who has Rod Wallace, Jonatan Johansson, Gabriel Amato and even Andrei Kanchelskis vying for a striking role on Sunday.

While Advocaat is used to the tempo, it will also be coach John Barnes' first Old Firm clash.

"Rangers and Celtic is a legendary fixture which is known throughout the world," said Barnes, who knows all about derbies from his days at Liverpool.

I know how important it is to everyone at the club, the fans, the players and to me.

"Everyone wants to finish top dog and seeing as we don't play again for a fortnight after this game I don't want to be stewing in that time, wallowing in my own self-pity."

Celtic's mood is low ahead of the contest after their miserable effort against Lyon in the Uefa Cup when a 1-0 home defeat was a repeat of their loss in France in the opening leg.

But Barnes said: "After any defeat the best thing is to go out there and play again. In turn after a fantastic victory you don't really want to play again.

"You want to leave it at that and say that's us. That's a great result let's go home," he joked. "We're expected to win every game but the pressure on this one is huge."





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In this section

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