Matthews believes in Celtic pull

Club would cope without Rangers insists defender

Adam Matthews: Insists Celtic would still be able to attract top players even if Rangers dropped out of the SPL

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Adam Matthews believes Celtic are big enough to attract top players even if Old Firm rivals Rangers drop out of the Scottish Premier League.

Celtic's crisis-hit city rivals are battling to avoid liquidation after falling into administration earlier this year with significant debts.

After being found guilty of five charges in relation to their finances this week the SFA also imposed a 12-month transfer embargo, leading to manager Ally McCoist suggesting the club may be better off starting again in the Scottish Third Division.

That would mean, for a few years at least, the fearsome Glasgow derby stretching back to 1888 would not take place - in the league at least.

Some have suggested that the absence of Rangers would also have a negative impact on both Celtic and the league itself.

However, speaking ahead of the final Old Firm clash of the season at Celtic Park on Sunday, Matthews dismissed suggestions that the absence of Rangers would hinder his side's ability to attract top players.

"Celtic sells itself," said Matthews. "The size of the club and its history makes players attracted to it.

Fan base

"It is a great club to be at. It is a massive club with a huge fan base and if you want to win trophies this is the club to be at, that's why I came here and hopefully I can do that.

"So, even if Rangers aren't in the SPL, Celtic will still be able to sign quality players.

"Obviously Rangers are a great team and there is a great atmosphere when we play against them.

"But if Rangers do have to go into the Third Division then we have to live with that and we have to keep doing our job."

Despite their financial woes Rangers go into Sunday's game having beaten Celtic twice in the three league meetings between the sides this season.

After sealing the SPL title earlier this month Matthews has urged his team-mates to end the campaign in style by beating their Glasgow rivals to further secure the city's bragging rights.

"Maybe that [the two defeats] is an extra incentive but we know every game against Rangers is a massive game," added the 20-year-old.

Atmosphere

"The hype and the atmosphere in the ground is amazing, it is the best atmosphere I have played in.

"The two times we have played at Ibrox this season we haven't done ourselves justice so we are looking to put that right and get a positive result.

"We want to win every game, especially against Rangers. We are looking to play as well as we can and hopefully get three points.

"The manager won't let complacency set in, we will focus on every game and we won't stop playing for the fans until the end of the season."