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Page last updated at 08:50 GMT, Friday, 26 February 2010

Scott McDonald backs ref to handle Old Firm pressure


MacDonald gives an insight to Old Firm match preparation

By Chris McLaughlin

Former Celtic striker Scott McDonald says ref Dougie McDonald is more than capable of handling any extra pressure put on him for Sunday's Old Firm derby.

His former club this week expressed fears over refereeing standards.

"It's quite convenient that this has all come out just before the game and it will certainly add pressure to the man in the middle," said McDonald.

"But Dougie McDonald has been around for a long time, so he'll be more than ready for the game."

The Scottish Football Association reacted with anger after a Celtic source told BBC Scotland about the club's frustrations at big decisions going against them this season.

If Celtic win it, I firmly believe the momentum swings back in their favour

Middlesbrough striker Scott McDonald

Celtic have held talks with the SFA to voice their concerns and further discussions are planned after the weekend's action.

But McDonald, the last Celtic player to score the winner at Ibrox, is not so sure there is a problem.

"As a player, you always think decisions go against you - ask any of the referees," said the striker, who will watch the match at home with his family after making the switch from the Glasgow club to Middlesbrough in January.

"I don't think they liked me much because I had a bit of a moan and a whinge at them."

McDonald admits he will be gutted not to be pulling his boots on when Sunday lunchtime comes around but does not think it's a must win for his old club.

"There are still lots of points to play for," said McDonald.

"If Celtic win it, I firmly believe the momentum swings back in their favour."

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see also
Laudrup's Old Firm memories
26 Feb 10 |  Rangers
McDonald misses Rangers tussles
26 Feb 10 |  Celtic
Laudrup tipping Rangers for title
25 Feb 10 |  Rangers
Old Firm frenzy eclipses other derbies
26 Feb 10 |  Scottish Premier
Hartson shocked by ref row timing
25 Feb 10 |  Celtic
Old Firm ref not fazed by furore
25 Feb 10 |  Scottish Premier
Doddsy's SPL predictions
27 Feb 10 |  Scottish Premier

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