PATRICK Roberts reckons the fact Andy Halliday stayed on the park for a wild challenge on him during Sunday's William Hill Scottish Cup semi-final can only help Scott Brown's chances of winning his appeal to play in Saturday's Old Firm re-match at Ibrox.

Halliday escaped with a yellow after a reckless lunge on Celtic's English winger in the opening minutes at Hampden, unlike Brown who was dismissed by referee Don Robertson in the dying seconds of the Parkhead side's 2-2 draw in Dingwall last week.

After a delay for the Easter holidays, a panel will finally convene this Thursday to determine the Celtic captain's case. While no two tackles are identical, Roberts clearly feels the Halliday challenge should be exhibit A.

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"I have looked back at the Andy Halliday tackle and Broony did that against Ross County and he got sent off," said Roberts, after the 2-0 Hampden win. "If that's only a yellow why was Scott's a red card? Was it down to the reaction of the Ross County players on that day?

"I don't want to say too much [about the Halliday challenge] but it was a bad tackle and thankfully I didn't get hurt," he added. "It's an Old Firm game and maybe the ref thought about it like that and gave a yellow. But I felt the ref was pretty good and thankfully we won the game."

Celtic booked their second Hampden showdown against Aberdeen on May 27 but the Parkhead side face a huge challenge to ensure he is there to play his part in a match which could see him round off his successful 18-month loan deal at the club with his fourth major title.

With Moussa Dembele already touch and go due to a hamstring problem, Celtic will be keen to have Roberts available, but he is key player for the England Under-20 side, who have reached the FIFA Under 20 World Cup Finals in South Korea, and that tournament begins on May 20, fully seven days before the Scottish Cup final.

Special dispensation from the FA will be required if he is to join up late and all Roberts would say is that the decision will be out of his hands. "I can't really say too much about that at the moment," he said. "We just have to see what happens. All I know is that it's not up to me. I'm just glad that Celtic are in the final."

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Choosing between Roberts and James Forrest was a 50/50 selection decision for Brendan Rodgers pre-match, but just like Callum McGregor who got the nod ahead of Tom Rogic, the Englishman fully validated the decision. It wasn't just Halliday who he drove to distraction; while rookie Rangers full back Myles Beerman fought his corner, the Maltese youngster also required the benefit of the doubt from referee Willie Collum, for two fouls in the space of two minutes - each of which could have been a yellow card in their own right.

"Beerman is only young and I know what it feels like to be young and playing in a big game under pressure like that," said Roberts, who a year earlier had spurned an open goal at this venue as Rangers won on penalties. "It's tough and my job was to keep getting at him and force him into mistakes. I felt I did that at times, although he did pretty well against me. He showed good experience at times and he's a good young player who can do well in the game."

Roberts will return to Manchester City this summer content with his loan experience. "It's been the perfect loan move for me," he said. "I honestly couldn't have asked for any more. I have come to a big club where there is a lot of expectation and you are playing under big pressure. It's huge and we have managed to have a lot of success. It's worked out really well for me. I see a big difference in myself. I am a lot more mature and I'm just really happy with my progress. This season has been great under the manager. I've learned a lot, score goals, created them and also played in a lot of big games."