Mccul­loch at a loss to ex­plain poor Ibrox form

The Herald - Herald Sport - - Clydesdale Bank Premier League - HUGH MAC­DON­ALD hugh.mac­don­ald@her­al­dand­

T may be one of most sober­ing mo­ments of a heady sea­son. The pre-match froth of an Old Firm match nor­mally bris­tles with talk of its sig­nif­i­cance in terms of the des­ti­na­tion of the ti­tle but Lee Mccul­loch was com­pelled to place a more re­al­is­tic value on to­mor­row’s match at Ibrox.

“I think sec­ond place is what we have to go for now and we can start off with a re­sult on Sun­day,” said the Rangers mid­fielder ahead of a match his side must win to avoid a his­toric fourth straight de­feat at Ibrox.

“It is cer­tainly the worst run of re­sults be­fore we face Celtic. But Old Firm games can change the men­tal­ity from the rest of the sea­son,” he said.

“I just don’t know why we have been so poor at home this sea­son. Ev­ery sea­son for the past four we have gone through patches of not play­ing well at Ibrox. A lot of teams come to frus­trate you at home while this sea­son it comes at a time when we are not at our best.”

Mccul­loch, though, an­tic­i­pates an at­tack­ing ap­proach from Celtic. “They will come and have a go and they will fancy their chances. They are a good team and they are on a good run, out­with their last match,” he said.

“They have got qual­ity right through their team. They are more than within their rights to come and have a go at us. We will just need to be ready.”

Rangers have dipped from a team chal­leng­ing for the Cly­des­dale Bank Premier League be­fore Christ­mas to one bat­tling for sec­ond place with Mother­well. The ad­min­is­tra­tion process, in­clud­ing the 10-point de­duc­tion, has taken its toll.

“It is hard to say whether it is all down to what is hap­pen­ing off the park,’’ said Mccul­loch of the run of de­feats. “As a group of play­ers we try to win ev­ery game, but there’s no doubt we have been low with ev­ery­thing that has hap­pened.”

If Mother­well fail to win at Kil­marnock to­day, Celtic could clinch the cham­pi­onship with a vic­tory to­mor­row.

“We def­i­nitely don’t want to see a Celtic ti­tle party,” Mccul­loch said. ‘‘It doesn’t mat­ter if Mother­well win or lose. We just have to take care of our­selves. This is go­ing to be our big­gest game of the sea­son.”

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