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Scottish Premiership: Rangers determined to shatter Celtic treble bid

Football
Mon, 13 Mar 2017
AFP


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.

"And that's something that's been levelled at them recently -- that they're not hard to play against, that they're weak and timid -- but I didn't see that today.

"I'm incredibly proud of them. They've looked at those things that have been said about them and put them right a little bit today."

Clint Hill's late equaliser denied Celtic their fourth straight Old Firm victory this season on Sunday.

Stuart Armstrong's first-half strike had Celtic on course for their 23rd consecutive victory in the league before veteran defender Hill bundled home an 88th minute leveller.

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 25-point 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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