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MARVIN ANDREWS has admitted that missing out on tomorrow night's Old Firm CIS Cup clash at Parkhead has been a heart breaker.


The tough stopper has had to jet home to help play a key role in turning Trinidad and Tobago's World Cup finals dream into a reality, by defeating Bahrain in the first leg of their play-off on Saturday.

Both sides then head to the Arabian Gulf for the return leg next midweek, leaving the big man with a race to be ready for the noon showdown with Celtic a week on Saturday.

And there is no doubt that Andrew's has felt an almighty tug on his heart strings as he has become the victim of a classic club-versus-country call.

Marv admitted: "The Celtic games are the biggest ones of the lot - even bigger than the Champions League matches. That is because they are the games that can make you a great hero with the support.

"If we lose to Celtic it leaves our fans miserable until the next time we play them.

While Andrews will miss the CIS Cup tie, the defender is hoping to be back for Saturday week's SPL installment of this drawn-out Old Firm double header.

He said: "I have a rough chance of making the league game on Saturday week. It just depends when my flight gets back.

"Missing the Cup game is a heartbreaker but obviously we have the first leg of our World Cup play-off on Saturday.

"When you have a 7500 mile journey to make, and a game of that importance to your country, you need time to prepare.

"But at club level there is no bigger game than an Old Firm match.

"I know people go on about say Real Madrid against Barcelona and the Liverpool and Manchester derbies, but the Old Firm games are talked about in every corner of the world - including Trinidad and Tobago. For me they are the biggest.

"Having seen how big the rivalry is I appreciate the type of scenario it is but I think with the sectarianism thing some fans take it to far. There is no way that can be condoned."

With big Marv a smile is never far from his face and the gentle giant added tongue in cheek: "But as far as football is concerned they are the biggest games I will ever play in - unless Trinidad and Tobago make the World Cup Finals."

However, while Marv will plainly move heaven and earth to make it back in time for the SPL clash with Celtic, there is no doubting just how important the call of his homeland is.

The 29-year-old said: "Obviously Trinidad and Tobago have never been to a World Cup finals and this is a great chance for us against Bahrain over two legs. From my personal point of view I am 29 and it will probably be my only chance to make it to a finals. I will do everything I can to make it to Germany."

And as Andrews revealed the pain at missing out on a finals place can cause the tears of a nation. The Gers star said: "We came close in 1989 when we missed out by a single point after losing out to the USA 1-0. But since then it has all gone backwards and this is the closest we have been since.

"The nation was weeping because of that failure and we lost a whole generation of kids to the game. I remember I couldn't get a ticket and watched the game on TV. I was 13 then and it was on that day that I decided I wanted to make it as a footballer and one day play in a World Cup.

"With God's will it can become a reality."