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‘MURTY KNOWS EXPECTATIONS,’ RODGERS

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BRENDAN RODGERS has defended Rangers boss Graeme Murty as he plots his downfall in the Scottish Cup semi-final at Hampden tomorrow.

A statement this week from Ibrox chairman Dave King appeared to undermine the caretaker gaffer’s long-term future at the club.

But the Celtic manager said: “I think he has done a very good job. I suspect if you go back and read the headlines and the columnists in the lead-up to the game at Ibrox, they were talking about what a great job he was doing and that the team were in a great moment, in great confidence.

“He loses a game against us and then the world changes. But that is not football. It is about building, it is about creating and just step by step.

“What he tried to do, in difficult circumstance, was to try to create that, but it is difficult if you aren’t there permanently – and then he got the job until the end of the season.

“But I just think of everything. It was all there in the papers that he was doing a great job, so it can’t be that if a few results don’t go your way that he is not even thought about as a manager.

“I think he has done very well. He has brought them together, brought in some good players and got them all fighting. You can’t win every game but he has done a good job.

“Supporters and everyone associated with a club always want to succeed, so you know when you work at the biggest clubs that is the expectation.

“Graeme will not have needed the light shone on anything. He knows that at the big clubs you need to succeed.”

Murty has faced Rodgers three times on the nine occasions the Irishman has been in charge during Glasgow derbies. The former Scotland full-back has managed two draws – both at Parkhead – before losing 3-2 last month.

The Hoops chief has one doubt in his squad for the last-four encounter and will make a decision on Stuart Armstrong’s fitness tomorrow morning.

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Acclaimed author Alex Gordon wrote the biography of Scotland international legend Denis Law, entitled 'King and Country'. He is a former columnist with World Soccer magazine and Scottish correspondent of respected European journal L'Equipe.

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