Alex McLeish believes that Michael Beale’s record against Celtic will be giving the Englishman sleepless nights – and the only remedy is to triumph in an Old Firm.

The Rangers manager, appointed as Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s successor at the tail end of last year, has already taken charge of three derbies during his short stint in charge, drawing once and losing twice.

Beale has the opportunity to amend that three-game winless run on Sunday when the two Glasgow rivals meet in the semi-finals of the Scottish Cup and McLeish – who manage Rangers between 2001 and 2006 – reckons that the current occupant of the Ibrox hot-seat will be feeling the heat ahead of this weekend’s showdown in Mount Florida.

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“Honestly, it’s torture,” McLeish, who mnaged Rangers between 2001 and 2006, said. “I went through a spell later in my Rangers career when we couldn’t beat them.

“You go through that barren spell when you don’t get a result against your big rivals and it is absolute torture.

“Rangers will need to play at their very best level and probably Celtic should not be at their best level for Rangers to win, I feel, with the way things are at the moment.

“It does take a wee bit of inspiration and they’ve got to go there, not hoping they can win but believing they can win.

“Do they have that feeling in the camp? They’ve got to have that.”

He continued: “There’s monstrous pressure. I guess it’s the same for any of the top teams in the world who are expected to win every single week and I certainly felt it when we were going through bad spells.

“I couldn’t sleep at night, and when I did nod off, I’d waken up and the pressure was straight back again.

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“We really care that much about it and there’s no chance of just brushing it off.

“So, it’s vital to get a win and be either equal with your big rivals or getting above them.”