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Rangers could lose 'edge' away from Ibrox - Walker

Former Celtic striker Andy Walker believes Rangers could lose "an edge" to their home games should they be forced to play away from Ibrox.

Rangers said in June "there will be an impact on matches at Ibrox" following "a delay in a materials shipment from Asia". Philippe Clement's side have two home Scottish Premiership fixtures and at least one, possibly two home Champions qualifying games in August.

Walker was part of the Celtic team that played home games at nearby Hampden Park in season 1994-95 while Celtic Park was being renovated.

More recently, Celtic played two home European fixtures at Murrayfield in Edinburgh while Celtic Park was being used as part of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games and Hearts also played some home games at the rugby ground while Tynecastle was being worked on in 2017.

"I don’t think it was that difficult," Walker recalled of Celtic in 1994-95. "The problem we had was it was a poor Celtic team. We finished fourth. Our results against Rangers were actually quite good but we drew an extraordinary amount of games. At the time we were struggling to challenge. We were a poor side.

"We all knew in preparation for the season that we wouldn’t be playing at Celtic Park. This was in the plan. Celtic Park was going to be reconstructed."

Walker remembers the atmosphere at the national stadium being "not as good as Celtic Park".

"You know what it’s like when you’re playing in front of your home crowd, they can put a yard on to your stride," said Walker on BBC Radio Scotland's Sportsound. "We didn’t really get that at Hampden.

"Obviously, it doesn't help if you're not playing in those familiar surroundings. You'll just lose a bit of an edge to your game. It’s all about the team, it’s all about the quality and if you’re winning games, you’re happy to play anywhere.

"Celtic have got an advantage because they’re a better team. They’re a well oiled machine. I’m sure they will get a few signings in the bag before the season kicks off. As long as they get [manager Brendan Rodgers'] players in.

"They’ve got a financial advantage, they’ve got a financial muscle that Rangers are struggling to compete with and that’s the key to everything."