Rangers out to wreck Celtic’s treble bid

New Straits Times - - Sport -

GLAS­GOW: Rangers’ in­terim man­ager Graeme Murty be­lieves Sun­day’s battling 1-1 draw with Celtic in the Scot­tish Pre­mier­ship will help shat­ter their city ri­vals’ hopes of sweep­ing a do­mes­tic treble.

The Glas­gow giants will clash for the fifth time this sea­son when they meet in next month’s Scot­tish Cup semi-fi­nal at Ham­p­den and Murty says Sun­day’s stale­mate will give the Gers a mas­sive boost.

“It should give them loads of con­fi­dence be­cause I thought they stood up to the chal­lenge of a very good team who move the ball well and they didn’t get rat­tled and they didn’t lose their dis­ci­pline,” said Murty, who will re­turn to head up Rangers de­vel­op­ment squad now that Pe­dro Caix­inha has been in­stalled as the new Ibrox boss.

“So I think any other game that comes for this group they know that what­ever hap­pens if they stick to­gether and keep be­liev­ing they can go and get pos­i­tive out­comes.

“I think we made it a proper game. The play­ers ex­e­cuted some things really well and more than that they put a shift in and made it hard for Celtic.”

It is only the sec­ond time the run­away league lead­ers have dropped points this sea­son fol­low­ing a 2-2 draw with In­ver­ness Cale­do­nian This­tle last Septem­ber.

The re­sult de­nied Bren­dan Rodgers the chance to beat Celtic’s club record run of 25 con­sec­u­tive league vic­to­ries but his side re­main un­beaten in 35 do­mes­tic matches and still hold a 25point ad­van­tage over Aberdeen, who are eight clear of Rangers in the race for sec­ond place. Rodgers was frus­trated at be­ing de­nied a late penalty when Hill ap­peared to pull Leigh Grif­fiths back in the box.

“It’s al­ways dis­ap­point­ing if you lose it late on in a man­ner like that but we ob­vi­ously should have had a penalty right at the death. It was a clear cut penalty,” Rodgers said.

“It was very frus­trat­ing, es­pe­cially when Clint Hill tells me that he got away with it. I spoke to him on the pitch af­ter­wards.

“Clint’s a good guy, an hon­est fel­low and I know when he said it he knows he got away with one. But prob­a­bly ev­ery­one seen it apart from the ref­eree.”

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