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‘WE’RE READY FOR CHALLENGE,’ MURTY

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GRAEME MURTY insists Sunday’s 3-2 loss to 10-man Celtic will not wreck his team’s spirit.

The Rangers caretaker boss saw his side topple nine points behind the champions who also have a game in hand.

Murty must get his team back on track for the run-in to the campaign which includes a Scottish Cup semi-final clash against Brendan Rodgers’ outfit on April 15.

The interim manager and his Ibrox players have been criticised for failing to overcome a Parkhead side that played for more than a third of the game with a man short following the dismissal of Jozo Simunovic.

But Murty has backed his team to provide answers when they take on Kilmarnock this weekend.

He said: “That is our challenge with the boys and we have to make sure that as a group we don’t allow the noise outside to come inside.

“I have said to the players that every single man and his dog, who has an opinion, who is an expert, will say all these things that we didn’t do and that I didn’t do and that I needed to change this and I needed to do that.

“That is fine, no problem. I will take their advice on board and reflect on it.

“We know the distance we have come and we know the progression that we have made.

“We can’t afford for one negative to derail everything and the mark of the team is how it responds.

“I have a task to lift the boys up, but they also have a task to make sure that, come Saturday, we are right back up at the top of our game, at the top of our intensity and we go and get a proper result to make sure that this doesn’t continue.

“We don’t want it to continue, we want to finish the season off strongly.
“There is still a lot to play for and lots of games ahead of us that we have to complete in the manner that we have done since Christmas.”

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Acclaimed author Alex Gordon wrote the biography of Scotland international legend Denis Law, entitled 'King and Country'. He is a former columnist with World Soccer magazine and Scottish correspondent of respected European journal L'Equipe.

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