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John Kennedy insists Celtic "cannot make any mistakes" against Rangers

John Kennedy insists Celtic
© Reuters
The Hoops take on arch-rivals Rangers in the Scottish Cup fourth-round on Sunday.

Celtic's interim boss John Kennedy believes there will be little margin for error against Rangers on Sunday.

The Hoops take on the newly-crowned Premiership champions in their keenly-awaited Scottish Cup fourth-round tie at Ibrox.

Celtic, who have won the competition a record four times in a row, turned in a sparkling performance in the 6-0 home win over Livingston last weekend.

Former Parkhead defender Kennedy has seen evidence that they are on their way back to their best but expects more will be required against Steven Gerrard's side, who have won all 18 domestic games at Ibrox this season.

He said: "I think we're close performance-wise. We've been good, we've been much more consistent.

"We've dominated games, we've had lots of the play, we've created a lot of chances, and we've not given too much away in our own box and goal.

"There are lots of positives there, but, again, it'll be a tough game.

"It's a cup match, you can't make any mistakes, you have to go into the game and hit top form.

"Our recent form is promising for us, it'll give us confidence off the back of the  last game and the little run we've had.

"We've been scoring goals and putting in good performances,  the players are finding their form as well, so it leads to a very exciting game.

"But we know that going to Ibrox and the magnitude of the game, we have to make sure we are all concentrated and doing our jobs and hopefully we come out with a very good performance and result."

Kennedy is keen to ensure clarity of task is the key message for the trip to Govan where Celtic will look to register their first win of the season against Rangers after two defeats and a draw against their city rivals.

He said: "I'm not going to put too much pressure on myself or the team – it's about performances, it's about being clear.

"Sometimes the emotion of these games overrides the clarity of your judgement.

"We have to be clear in terms of what the game means and what we have to do to perform in that game and hopefully that brings a positive result.

"It has hurt us as much as anyone in terms of losing our league title this year, to Rangers.

"When opportunities like this come up, it is about how you go into the game and if that means laying down a marker then fine.

"A massive part of Sunday will be about the result. Even if the performance isn't perfect,  we want to show the mentality and willingness to go and work and run, and even if we need to grind it out, we'll try and grind it out."

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