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Steven Gerrard to check in with Glen Kamara before Old Firm

Steven Gerrard to check in with Glen Kamara before Old Firm
© Reuters
The Rangers manager will have a face-to-face chat with Glen Kamara win the wake of the racism allegations which followed the defeat to Slavia Prague.

Steven Gerrard will let Glen Kamara decide if he is in the right frame of mind for Sunday's Old Firm clash.

The Ibrox boss is keen to ensure his midfielder is not suffering as a result of the racism row which blew up as Gers crashed out of the Europa League to Slavia Prague.

The Finland international had to be held back by team-mates as he reacted furiously to an alleged offensive slur whispered into his ear by Slavia defender Ondrej Kudela just moments before the final whistle.

The PA news agency understands Kamara also tried to confront the Czech again around half-an-hour after the match as the Slavia squad stood on the Ibrox pitch before being dragged back inside.

Slavia have already rejected the racism claims and claimed it was Kamara star who attacked Kudela in a post-match bust-up.

However, Police Scotland say they have so far received "no reports of criminality" from either side.

Now Gerrard plans to sit down with the 25-year-old before deciding whether to plunge him into derby action at Celtic Park this weekend.

"I spoke to Glen last night and we've exchanged text messages this morning," said the Rangers manager at his pre-match press conference. "I'll have a face-to-face with him straight after this press conference so I'll check in with him then.

Rangers' Glen Kamara (centre) argues with Slavia Prague's Ondrej Kudela
Rangers' Glen Kamara (centre) argues with Slavia Prague's Ondrej Kudela (Andrew Milligan/PA).

"Will he play? Right now I can't answer that question until I've spoken with him.

"I'll have a chat with him and then I'll make decisions.

"I think it's important to listen to him to hear his feeling this morning and then we'll make decisions from there. We'll see."

With Rangers already crowned champions with six games to spare, their European exit means Gerrard's team can now afford to sink all their energies into their Scottish Cup campaign.

But Gerrard insists his team are also determined to cling on to their proud unbeaten league run as they look to complete an invincible Premiership season.

"I don't think you should have to get players up for an Old Firm," he said. "That should be in your DNA. It's a huge fixture. I think that goes without saying.

"On the back of the disappointment of going out of Europe, we want to try and bounce back with a strong performance and a positive result.

"We'll be ready come kick-off. We haven't really had much time or preparation to think about this fixture. That's not an excuse. It's how it is.

"We're quite used to this schedule – bounding from game to game.

"Come kick-off we'll be ready and prepared. We'll have a game plan that will hopefully be good enough on the day.

"We will have internal targets and I want the standard and the hunger and the consistency to remain from a league point of view.

"I think it is only normal that now the priority swings to the Scottish Cup, with all due respect.

"We want to give it our maximum in that and try and make that a success, but every game at Rangers is important and it is my job to try and find that level of consistency which the players have delivered up to this point.

"But in no way, shape or form do we want to be complacent or come off the gas in any fixture between now and the end of the season."

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