30 Dec Murty praises player power
Rangers boss Graeme Murty revealed a “frank exchange of views” between his players at half-time underpinned a stirring second-half performance which could have turned an Old Firm stalemate at Parkhead into an unlikely victory.
Brendan Rodgers’ Celtic had the better of the 0-0 Ladbrokes Premiership clash until half-time but were wasteful in front of goal.
The Light Blues came storming back after the break and only a couple of crucial saves from Hoops goalkeeper Craig Gordon denied them the win.
“It was great at half-time because there were some frank exchanges of views among the players to try to improve and that energy took them out to the second half, ” said Murty, who refused to confirm reports that Falkirk assistant Jimmy Nicholl would be joining him at Ibrox.
“I left them to it and then you control it and get it back in and get them focused. It was just solving problems.
“In the heat of the moment, you are in the changing room and your hormones are charging around and your energy is high. It gets a bit fraught and frantic.
“Let that release off, let the guys get it out and then give them a really good solution, and that’s what we did.
“The guys in the changing room are frustrated because we created some good chances.
“I am really proud of the way the players approached the game and withstood a really harsh challenge.”
Murty was last week placed in charge of Rangers until the end of the season at least, after two spells as caretaker boss.
The first time he moved up from under-20s coach, he guided the team to a 1-1 draw at Parkhead in March.
“We have to use that as fuel to move forward. We can’t take a backward step from here,” said Murty, who revealed that Portuguese defender Bruno Alves was left on crutches and in a protective boot after leaving the field in the first half with a leg knock.
“(We were) walking off the pitch elated a little bit because of the manner of the performance, but we know we could have won it.
“I said to them when I walked out of this place last time there was a sense of ‘job well done’.
“I sit here now with a real sense of a job and a journey which we are just starting out on and if we do that this game will have served a really good purpose beyond getting a point.”
League leaders Celtic remained 11 points clear of their third-placed city rivals.
“It was probably a fair result in the end,” Rodgers said.
“We created chances in the first half and if we put them away then it probably gives a different feel to the game for us going forward.
“But we didn’t take them and of course if you don’t take them it always opens up a bit for the opposition.
“In the second half, Rangers had a couple of chances, one really good chance with (Alfredo) Morelos, but I thought the game lacked quality.”