Londonderry Rangers fan Gregory Campbell says Mark Warburton’s charges smashed expectations with their penalty shoot out triumph over Old Firm rivals Celtic in the semi-final of the Scottish Cup on Sunday.
“It was certainly the first big meeting in quite a long time and, I suppose, given the expectations levels that there were among realistic fans, there were very low expectations. To say that they were exceeded is putting it mildly,” said the Rangers stalwart.
Mr Campbell said the win was particularly remarkable given Warburton’s relatively short tenure in charge and the squad’s depletion through injury and disqualification.
“We’re still coming to terms with the new manager who’s introduced some new players into the team and for yesterday’s game we were without Martyn Waghorn who’s been an important goalscorer for us, and were missing Billy King who was cup-tied, so they did exceptionally well, it hopefully sets us up well for next season.
“It was an exceptionally competitive match and Barry McKay’s second goal for Rangers was a really special strike from distance.
“It’s helped restore a bit of a buzz around the club again and, who knows, if we are successful in the final against Hibs it could mean a return to European competition next year as well.”
Mr Campbell said he was pleased to see local midfielder Dean Shiels involved from the kick-off.
“Yes, Dean Shiels, of course, the son of the Derry City manager Kenny Shiels, hasn’t been starting regularly, so it was good to see him get a start on Sunday.
“There has been a tradition of players going over from Northern Ireland and enjoying successful careers. We’ve also got young Jordan Thompson who’s currently out on loan, so long may that continue.”