His reputation is being rebuilt piece by piece at the moment, therefore Andy Halliday can’t play at Celtic Park.

It may confuse some. After all, he’s put in some solid performances as of late and is playing with a composure to his game. Added to that, he looks comfortable on the ball and not as mentally vulnerable as last season.

Halliday had a stormer of an Old Firm game back in 2016 under Mark Warburton. At Hampden, he was the star of the show in the midfield. Halliday won the battle with Scott Brown as Rangers knocked Celtic out of the Scottish Cup.

Andy Halliday was a top performer in the Scottish Cup win over Celtic in 2016 (Getty Images)

It was the high point of the born and bred Rangers man’s career.

However, that is now well and truly in the past, and Celtic have still evolved from the side that lost that one.

26-year-old Halliday played the final two Old Firm games of last season. The matches took a huge toll on the midfielder’s confidence and ability to perform on the park.

Mocked by the Celtic fans at both Hampden and Parkhead, it’ll be two haunting matches that Halliday will struggle to ever live down. His name was sang in unison by the Parkhead support, and his performances on both days were of a shocking standard.

It would be unfair to Halliday to expose him to that so soon once again. With his Rangers career rebuilding nicely once more, he doesn’t need that pressure returning whilst still rebuilding his Ibrox career.

Instead, Steven Gerrard has better options instead of the former Livingston man.

Halliday has a poor final two displays against Celtic last season (Vagelis Georgariou/Action Plus via Getty Images)

Lassana Coulibaly, Scott Arfield, Ovie Ejaria, and Ryan Jack can all take up his position with ease. All four also bring more to the side when they’re on their game than Halliday does.

In extreme circumstances, Gerrard would have to throw Halliday in. However, it’s clear with his player availability that this is no emergency.

Exposing him to the tough atmosphere at Celtic Park could be the breaking of him once more. At this stage of his career and given Gerrard’s options, this isn’t a risk he should feel he has to take.

Halliday has also proven in the past that he struggles to keep up with the current Celtic team. He was one of many who disappointed massively in this fixture over the last two years for Rangers fans.

Until he builds his confidence up, as well as his ability, Halliday should continue to sit this fixture out for the time being.

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