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Page last updated at 14:24 GMT, Thursday, 21 May 2009 15:24 UK

Gers don't merit title - Samaras

Georgios Samaras (right) has a laugh in training with his Celtic team-mates
Samaras (right) says Rangers only lead because of Celtic's mistakes

Celtic striker Georgios Samaras claims Rangers will be undeserving champions if they win at Dundee United on Sunday.

"Like last year, they were seven points clear and we won the title and I said that we were the better team," he said.

"Now it's the opposite. But, if they are going to win it, I don't think they deserve it. I think we are better.

"If they are going to win it then fair play - but it's our mistakes (that let them) and I think we are a better team than Rangers."

Rangers surrendered a seven-point lead last season to allow their Old Firm rivals to come from behind to win their third consecutive title.

This term, Celtic have relinquished an eight-point advantage to leave Rangers within one win of wrenching the title back.

Rangers are two points clear and need a victory in their final game of the campaign at Tannadice.

Gers don't deserve title - Samaras

However, if Walter Smith's side drop points, a Celtic win over Hearts will propel the reigning champions back to the top.

It is likely to be nailbiting afternoon in the stands, but Greece international Samaras insisted he would not be thinking of how Rangers are doing at Tannadice while he faces Hearts.

"I really don't care what they do," said the former Manchester City striker.

"I am only thinking about our game, trying to play good football and get the three points.

"We will see in the end if we are going to win the title or not.

"Last year was exactly the same in our last game against Dundee United, which we won.

"You heard the supporters yelling and screaming about the Rangers result - but you focus on how you keep the ball and pass the ball.

"It might give you a small lift. But if we lose or draw and Rangers do the same thing then it's no good."

Samaras has scored 17 times this season, but he will sacrifice personal glory to see the title end up at Celtic Park for the fourth successive season.

"If I score a hat-trick to win the game and we lose the title then I won't be happy," he said.

"It's a team sport. We are a group and everyone wants what is good for the club and what is good for the club is to win the title, not score a goal.

"But I'm looking forward to it, of course. I'm a football player, I'm ready for this and I am loving these big games."

As happened last year, manager Gordon Strachan was not willing to respond to speculation about his own future with Celtic - win or lose the title - but Samaras gave his boss a vote of confidence.

"Up until this point, the manager has been successful and I think everybody at this club wants to see him here next year as well," said the striker.

As for Strachan himself, he would only say: "We are only talking about the game on Sunday.

"We will analyse the season once we have finished. We look after the game at the moment.

"We have three days to look forward to it and it's going to be great fun."

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see also
McLeish backing Rangers for title
21 May 09 |  Scottish Premier
Zaluska eyes double celebration
21 May 09 |  Dundee Utd
BBC pundits on title showdown
20 May 09 |  Scottish Premier

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