Rangers manager Graeme Murty admits his Ibrox side are “still chasing” bitter rivals Celtic in the race for the Scottish Premiership title – but thinks a win over Brendan Rodgers’ side on Sunday will leave his side “up there” with the defending champions.
Murty’s side could close the gap at the top of the table to three points if they can record their first league win in six years against the Hoops after finding themselves languishing in fourth in the table and sacking manager Pedro Caxinha earlier in the campaign.
The Gers boss doesn’t believe everything hinges on success in Sunday’s much-anticipated clash and challenged his side to “chase them down.”
“Celtic are top of the league and we’re still chasing them,” Murty said, as quoted by the Daily Record.
“And whether we chase them down or not won’t just be on this one game – it will be on the games after it. So we have to make sure what we do, from Sunday, is put ourselves in as good a position as possible to go and chase them down.
“I honestly don’t know if us winning would mean there is a title race but until it’s mathematically impossible we’re up there.
“This is meaningful in that it’s an Old Firm game. It’s a massive game and will never be anything other than massive.
“I’ve got a group of fans coming to the ground hopeful of a really good performance and gaining three points against our opponent.
“We’ve won six in a row but this is the biggest test. If we were to win it then it would add to our confidence and what we’re trying to do.”
The Light Blues have only lost one of their ten games since the winter break ended and are currently on a six-game winning run ahead of the third Old Firm clash of the season.
The Glasgow giants still have to face each other once more in the final weeks of the season as the Gers look to pull off the unlikliest of title wins.
At the same stage 12 months ago, Celtic were 33 points clear of the Gers and well on their way to a sixth consecutive title and unbeaten domestic treble,
Football Insider verdict:
Beating Celtic in the league will be a big milestone for the Gers on their way back to the top of Scottish football and Graeme Murty’s side are in the best place of any since the club’s meltdown in 2012. While a defeat might kill off their title chances for the season, few would have expected the Gers to have been anywhere near as close to Brendan Rodgers’ side as they are currently – particularly not when you consider the Ibrox giants sacked their manager before Halloween. A win at this stage would surely give the Gers a hge confidence boost and could be the start of a succesful late charge for the title.