Gordon Smith tells Joey Barton that he MUST deliver after his jibes at Celtic

GORDON SMITH scored two Old Firm winners in his first season as a Rangers player.

But he still got a roasting from Jock Wallace.

That is why Smith hopes Joey Barton has done all his talking in the build-up to tomorrow’s clash.

The Ibrox midfielder has already had digs at Brendan Rodgers and Scott Brown.

Now Smith insists he has to do his talking on the pitch.

He said: “I don’t know if Barton realises the consequences of what he says here.

“He’s going to be judged on Saturday and he has to perform. He’s under pressure because this is the biggest game Rangers have, it’s at Celtic Park and he’s up against someone he’s already downplayed and criticised.

“Joey has said he’ll outplay Scott Brown and that he’s a far better player.

“If Rangers are underdogs for the game, then Scott is underdog for that battle, because Joey’s boosted himself up. If I’d been advising him I’d have said not to make any comment regarding Rangers and Celtic. Just keep quiet.

“I remember I said after a game that I felt Celtic should have won and had been the better team and I got a row from Jock Wallace for doing it!

“So if you say something in advance of a game, you have to be careful.

“Barton might have said it tongue-in-cheek in his opinion, but you don’t get tongue-in-cheek with Rangers and Celtic.”

Question marks hang over how all the Old Firm debutants will handle the atmosphere.

But Smith, 61, reckons they should be like him and relish it.

He scored a double as Gers came back from the dead to win 3-2 in his first Old Firm match in September 1977.

He said: “I scored two goals that day, then I got the winner in the League Cup Final.

“I hear a lot of people say ‘You must have been terrified,’ but I was excited.

“When I was growing up that was the game I most looked forward to playing in.

“It’s the major game in Scotland, so I was excited rather than anxious.

“That 3-2 game had the strangest team talk I’d heard. Normally it goes on the scoreline, but Jock Wallace shocked me. He was very positive.

“He said we’d outplayed Celtic, they’d scored two lucky goals and we’d created chances.

“He said if we played like that in the second half, we’d win the game — and he was right.”

GORDON SMITH was speaking on behalf of Spohrt which helps young footballers achieve qualifications and skills if they are released. 



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