09 Mar Graeme Murty insists Rangers not overconfident ahead of Old Firm clash
Rangers manager Graeme Murty sees no sign of overconfidence in his players openly relishing the prospect of facing Celtic.
Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers warned Rangers to be “careful what they wish for” after Murty revealed his players had emitted a “vast” cheer when they were paired with their rivals in the William Hill Scottish Cup semi-finals.
Sunday’s draw came seven days before the pair meet on league business at Ibrox and Murty is happy with the mindset of his squad as they seek to cut the gap on the Ladbrokes Premiership leaders to three points.
“I don’t think it’s overconfidence,” he said.
“I think it’s guys in a positive moment, guys enjoying each other’s company, enjoying playing with one another.
“You come to this football club to play in big games and it’s another opportunity to play in a massive game. And I think that’s all that was.
“It was an occasion where guys had just won a football match, they are feeling on a high, and there is another big game being drawn out of the hat and they are enjoying the moment.
“I don’t think it’s disrespectful, I don’t think it’s overconfidence, it’s our guys relishing the opportunity to play in a massive, massive game for this club.”
Rangers’ increasing confidence stems from scoring 23 goals during a run of six consecutive wins.
“If you look at the way the guys play, the way they are performing, the chances they are making, they are enjoying each other’s company and they are enjoying getting some success,” Murty said.
“It’s always the way in football, when things are successful, it’s a brilliant place to work. This is going to be a really good test of the cohesion and the team spirit and making sure we take our positivity from the last few games into this one.”
Murty is looking to extend his own personal unbeaten record against Celtic to three matches but he feels they have made great strides since each of his two draws at Celtic Park.
“I would say it’s the game people are talking about most,” said Murty, who was handed the manager’s job until the end of the season eight days before their most recent derby meeting.
“I would say it’s the game that has generated the most interest across border. Because the first time we did a Celtic-Rangers game, people were talking about record scorelines. The second time they were talking about the managerial situation.
“This is the first time people are talking about the game, which is a real positive to me in how far we have come as a football club and a squad, and it will be a really good marker along our journey into the place we want to be and the team we want to be.
“We are going to find out but I think we are stronger than we were. I think people would acknowledge that. We are a different kind of team and I would say our people in form are capable of causing anyone a problem.
“This is the biggest test we currently have and we have got a group of players who are really positive, really hungry and desperate to do well, which is a great thing for a manager.”