We’re delighted to welcome former Premier League referee Keith Hackett as our exclusive columnist. Each week he’ll be giving his views on the biggest talking points at Rangers…
Keith Hackett insists the real challenge for Old Firm referees is keeping players on the pitch ahead of this weekend’s latest instalment of Rangers v Celtic.
William Collum will be the man in the middle on Sunday and he, like many referees before him, will have his work cut out in what could prove to be a game full of talking points.
Alfredo Morelos will once again be under the spotlight and the Celtic defenders will be in his ear from the first minute.
Hackett claims referees will be aware of this and their real challenge is making sure the game finishes with the same amount of players it started with.
“In the modern game referees do their homework,” Hackett exclusively told Ibrox News when asked about how Old Firm refs will behave with Morelos.
“They walk across that white line prepared. We know full well that a game can change on a decision by way of how players behave.
“The challenge is actually to keep the player on the pitch, to keep him calm. The referee can do that on many occasions by just having a quiet word.
“You never know how he [Morelos] reacts and that’s fine for him but Celtic will play on the fact that he’s got a short fuse.”
Morelos has never scored in an Old Firm game but he has a great chance of breaking that hoodoo on Sunday, as long as he stays on the pitch.
The Colombian’s disciplinary record this season has been better than seasons past but he’s still been cited by the SFA on two occasions.
We all know the officials will keep a close eye on him on Sunday but if he can keep his cool then he will terrorise that Hoops defence.
He’s in electric form and even though the title race is over, bragging rights are still up for grabs.
Three wins over Celtic in one season would be another trophyless accolade we can add to our list of achievements this season and Morelos can play a big role in helping us do that.
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