Michael Beale is keenly anticipating the “derby of all derbies” as he prepares Rangers for the visit of Celtic to Ibrox.
The former Gers assistant coach will be in the hot seat for the first time in an Old Firm game on Monday after returning to Govan from QPR last month.
Beale has won all four games since taking over from Giovanni van Bronckhorst and is looking to reduce the nine-point gap to the Hoops at the top of the cinch Premiership.
“I am really looking forward to it,” said Beale, who gave positive news on the fitness of striker Alfredo Morelos.
“It is the derby of all derbies I think. It is watched worldwide. It is a privilege to be involved in it.
“It is obviously been the date I have been looking forward to the most since coming back into the club.
“We are at the halfway stage. I don’t know what Celtic’s results are going to be in the next 19 games, but you would say how it has been up to now has been fantastic, in any season in any league but certainly here in Scotland.
“If a team wins 18 out of 19 you would have to say they have had outstanding form. That is the fact.
“Ours has not been as strong, hence me being here, but since I have been here it has been pretty good.
“What I don’t want to do is hold back where we need to get to.
“It is the sternest test we can have. After the game I will know exactly the job I have to get Rangers back on top.”
Morelos had to come off in the second half of Wednesday’s 3-0 cinch Premiership win over Motherwell at Ibrox with a tight hamstring.
However, Beale said: “He came in yesterday and he felt better. Today he is on second-day recovery.
“The team will train again tomorrow and as far as I can see at this moment in time he will be available.
“Antonio (Colak) will be available as well. Kemar (Roofe) will be touch and go because he has done slightly less. He will definitely be available if Alfredo isn’t.”
Beale believes taking a gamble with fitness in such situations is possible due to the ability to make five substitutions.
He said: The game is changing. Players will play a little bit longer in their careers because of it.
“I also think the speed of the game can pick up because you can change half your team in terms of outfield players so there is definitely benefits from it.
“That’s why I like the five substitutes rule, it enables me tactically to change things.”