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Old Firm collude over Artmedia

Published: Wednesday 19 October 2005, 17.04CET
Rangers FC manager Alex McLeish has sought the advice of his Celtic FC counterpart Gordon Strachan as FC Artmedia return to Glasgow.
by Alex O'Henley
from Glasgow

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Published: Wednesday 19 October 2005, 17.04CET

Old Firm collude over Artmedia

Rangers FC manager Alex McLeish has sought the advice of his Celtic FC counterpart Gordon Strachan as FC Artmedia return to Glasgow.
Rangers FC manager Alex McLeish has sought the advice of his Celtic FC counterpart Gordon Strachan as FC Artmedia return to Glasgow.

Dramatic comeback
The Slovakian champions handed Strachan the worst possible start to his career at Celtic Park as his side lost 5-0 in the first leg of their UEFA Champions League second qualifying round tie in Bratislava, but they came close to a dramatic comeback as they won 4-0 against Vladimír Weiss's side in the return leg.

Fierce rivalry
And while rivalry between the two coaches is fierce on the pitch, the former Aberdeen FC team-mates have been comparing notes on Artmedia in recent days, much to the delight of the Scottish press, with both the Daily Record and tabloid rival the Sun leading with the story of the coaches' conversation.

Comparing notes
"Yes, I've spoken to Gordon about them," said McLeish whose side are level on points with Artmedia in Group H with both sides having won one game each. "There was not a lot he could tell me that I didn't already know, but it's always good to get as much information as possible about your opponents."

Press concerns
With Rangers already nine points off the pace in the Scottish Premier League, some have suggested that a win against Artmedia would help to silence McLeish's critics, but there is a concern that the manager's lack of attacking options may force him to play with Dado Pršo as a lone striker tonight.

Ibrox atmosphere
McLeish is still eager to become the first manager to lead a Scottish side beyond the group stage of the UEFA Champions League, and he is hoping an Artmedia slump in front of a packed crowd at Ibrox will help him to achieve that. "If they fall apart the way they did at Parkhead, then I would be delighted, but they have added players since then," said McLeish.

Last updated: 19/10/05 12.42CET

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