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Deila: We have to keep our total focus

THREE months of Glasgow madness kicked off on Saturday as the draw was made for the semi-finals of the League Cup.

The matches won't be played until January 31 and February 1 but already all normal club matters are effectively on hold as the countdown to Hampden gets underway.

The first tie was straightforward- Dundee United v Aberdeen - the second was more complex with the very name of one of the club's at the heart of the matter.

The liquidation of Rangers in 2012 has been spun in a dozen different directions with the Scottish football authorities cowering away from comment and hoping that everyone can just move on.

For many people the draw produced an Old Firm semi-final and was trailed on the BBC as such, discussing the first clash between the clubs for almost three years. Clubs don't emerge from liquidation, a club is sustained by the business and as far as Hoops supporters are concerned in 2012 the club from the other part of the city died.

In 2012 the thought of losing half of the golden goose terrified the Scottish football authorities, SFA chief executive Stewart Regan talked of civil unrest while his SPL counterpart Neil Doncaster mentioned Armageddon.

A secretive five-way agreement was forced through transferring the licence of Rangers to the Sevco company which quickly switched to Sevco Scotland and onto The Rangers International Football Club - playing in blue shirts from Ibrox stadium.

While Rangers play on the Old Firm card the response from Celtic is more guarded with that term no longer in use and no references being made to previous matches between the clubs.


Some traditional terms of abuse have been replaced by new phrases such as zombie with the Halloween timing of the draw not lost on Anthony Stokes who, after a brief post match media conference following Saturday's win over Inverness, tweeted: "Hard fought win today!! And it wouldn't be Halloween weekend without drawing them, should be interesting!!"

Looking on at the madness is Ronny Deila (pictured), his five consecutive wins put on the back burner following the cup draw for a match that is three months away.

The Norwegian's knowledge of Celtic prior to becoming manager in June was made up of Champions League nights and tales of terror from clashes with Rangers where his predecessor Lennon went through episodes that no-one else in the game has had to deal with.

"We need to beat Rangers to win the League Cup and that's what we are aiming for. But before them we have 10 to 15 tough games.

"I've heard there will be three months of hype - but it's important to win some games before then as well. We have to keep focused on that," said Deila