Thompson: Derby still a big deal
Celtic first-team coach Alan Thompson does not believe there is such a thing as a meaningless Old Firm game.
Neil Lennon's side wrapped up the Scottish Premier League title three weeks ago meaning there is little riding on the visit of administration-hit Rangers, whose battle at the moment is for their survival, rather than points.
However, the former Hoops midfielder, while looking back to his experiences in the fixture as a player, insists there will be the usual excitement when the two Glasgow giants meet on Sunday lunchtime.
"It is a big game for us," said Thompson.
"It is an Old Firm game. After that we have three league games left, two at home, one away, and one in which we look forward to picking up the trophy and we look forward to that.
"But this is probably the biggest game out of the four we have left by some way.
"The atmosphere and winning in that atmosphere (is what I liked).
"It's horrible when you lose them, you want to bury your head in the sand and go missing until your next game but they are great days if you can win them."
The former Bolton and Aston Villa player admits feeling a sense of frustration when stood at the side of the park during Old Firm games.
"It is totally different from playing," he said.
"You can influence it when you are on the park but you can't have much of an influence when there are 60,000 people around you and you can't cross that white line.
"It is slightly (frustrating) but we cope - or we think we cope."
Thompson will be subject to an unfamiliar distraction in the dugout when he acts as the voice of Neil Lennon.
The Celtic boss will be in the stand serving the second part of a two-match touchline ban for criticising referee Willie Collum following the Scottish Communities League Cup final defeat by Kilmarnock at Hampden in March.
Thompson had a test run last week at Fir Park as Lennon passed on instructions from the stand during the 3-0 win over Motherwell but will factor in the huge and frenzied crowd inside Celtic Park.
"It will be quite difficult," he said.
"It worked quite well last week at Motherwell. I was wired up to an earpiece - I'm still struggling out of this ear at the minute.
"We will carry on as we did last week at Motherwell. Maybe the atmosphere might affect that a bit, I don't know."