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Sport: The moment Mark Warburton paused for Celtic thought as Ronny Deila was on his mind amid Rangers jubilation

QPR boss Mark Warburton is set for the SACK after one win in six

  QPR boss Mark Warburton is set for the SACK after one win in six The 59-year old has been in charge at Loftus Road since 2019 and though a popular figure, results in recent weeks have seen his side drift to ninth in the Championship table.The 59-year old has been in charge at Loftus Road since 2019 and though a popular figure, results in recent weeks have seen his side drift to ninth in the Championship table with just one win in their last six games.

Mark Warburton took in the elation of 2016's Scottish Cup semi-final victory over Celtic.

Warburton felt sympathy for Deila © SNS Group Warburton felt sympathy for Deila

And then for a moment the Rangers manager had one man on his mind: Ronny Deila.

A Tom Rogic miss in the penalty shootout saw Gers progress to the final where they'd taste defeat against Hibs, after a whirlwind 120 minutes that saw the men in blue lead twice through Kenny Miller and Barrie McKay, only for Erik Sviatchenko and Rogic to level for Deila's Hoops.

The Norwegian left Glasgow that summer with Brendan Rodgers taking his place at Parkhead and leading Celtic into a new era of dominance.

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  I have an uneasy Rangers and Celtic feeling but at least two men fill the void amid the immaturity - Hugh Keevins It's a massive day in Glasgow as the top two in the Premiership battle it out at Ibrox.I have always maintained the fixture between Rangers and Celtic, as it is this afternoon, is a separate life form outwith the confines of Scottish football as a whole.

And Warburton couldn't help feel sympathy for his opposing gaffer who he felt was about to enter a rough time in his career, though he has since gone on to win the MLS Cup over in America with New York City FC.

Speaking to the Scotsman, Warburton said: "I saw some of the treatment of Ronny Deila going into the game as a fellow manager. I just thought some of the words written about Ronny were shocking.

"I knew when that final whistle went, of course you saw my reaction, but there was a moment where I stopped and thought ‘he is going to come in for so much inappropriate and undeserved abuse almost from the media’.

"I really felt for him. I genuinely mean that. He came in for some torrid headlines which for a man who brought so much success were fully unjustified.

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  Why this Celtic win over Rangers was sweetest for Callum McGregor Callum McGregor has experienced plenty of victories at Ibrox in a Celtic shirt, but this one will taste that little bit sweeter. © Callum McGregor celebrates at full time after Celtic's victory. Not only does it move Celtic six points clear in the cinch Premiership title race with six games to play, it was also McGregor’s first victory as club captain on enemy soil. The skipper showed why he was handed the armband by Ange Postecoglou last summer on the back of Scott Brown’s departure. Rangers’ fast start, which included Aaron Ramsay’s early opener, had the home fans rocking and Celtic on the ropes.

"He showed (at NYC) he is a quality manager and a class act.

"There is going to be a winner and a loser in a game like that, you can write all the headlines you like and you can be on both sides of the coin but he didn't deserve that.

"Some of the stuff written about Ronny building up to the game and post-game would never be tolerated down south."

Warburton insists there was one criticism that made him "angry" as Rangers manager – the inference that he didn't 'get' the Old Firm.

The fact he still feels proud to have delivered that Hampden moment of joy six years later is proof that's not the case, he insists.

Warburton added: "That was very, very obvious to me. I get very angry and frustrated when I get told I don’t understand what it means. Of course I do.

"I knew that after what the Rangers supporters had been through and the level of support they had given their club right the way through that process, to have that day and to win that game, I knew what it meant.

"That feeling will never ever go away."

Rangers XI v Braga: Defensive dilemma, big midfield decision, Aaron Ramsey role - is this the Rangers line-up? .
Rangers have a massive four days coming up, starting tonight as they welcome Braga to what will be a packed-out Ibrox. © Will Aaron Ramsey star against Braga. (Photo by Craig Williamson / SNS Group) Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s men are 90 minutes and a two-goal win away from a Europa League semi-final. Such a result, backed by a partisan crowd, will be a huge boost going into the Scottish Cup semi-final with Celtic on Sunday.There will be plenty of intrigue around Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s line-up for this crucial clash.

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