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Celtic supporter Connolly up for Rangers clash

MONAGHAN lad Mark Connolly is hoping he can recover from a debut-day disaster and get the chance to face Rangers in the SPL tomorrow night.

Highly rated defender Connolly, who made headlines by moving from Wolves to Bolton in a deal which cost Owen Coyle's club £1m, is on loan from Bolton to St Johnstone and he was finally handed his debut in Saturday's SPL clash with Hamilton.

But it was a disappointing day for the former Monaghan United player and St Johnstone as they lost 1-0, while Connolly's debut ended early as he was taken off at half-time, Saints boss Derek McInnes fearful that he would pick up a second booking and a sending off.

But there's no time for the player to feel sorry for himself as St Johnstone are in action at home to league leaders Rangers tomorrow night.

"It would be great to get a win over Rangers and I'll be ready for the match if I'm given the chance -- don't worry about that," Connolly said.

"Celtic are my team and whether I start or come on I won't need a few touches to settle -- it will be a few touches of players!

"My family are all Celtic fans and will be over tomorrow.

"There will be phone calls telling me to do this and that to certain players but I'll just have to concentrate on getting on first," added Connolly.

FORMER Ireland man Gary Doherty was hailed by Norwich City manager Paul Lambert after he helped the Canaries edge closer to promotion.

Doherty, 30, was a key figure for Norwich in Saturday's 1-0 win over promotion rivals Leeds which puts City 11 points clear at the top of the League One table.

"Doherty was first class," said Lambert. "Gary Doherty was immense again. The back four as a unit were excellent."