MARK WARBURTON has called on his players to enjoy the challenge of playing Celtic at Ibrox on Saturday.
It’s the first meeting of the two sides in Govan in nearly five years, and Warburton is sure his players have what it takes to deal with what is sure to be an incredible atmosphere.
He explained: “It’s part and parcel of playing for Rangers. The weight of expectation is there every week and they are a fantastic crowd in a magnificent stadium. We know what we have to do.
“These are the types of games surely any professional player wants to play in and dreams of playing in as a younger player. To have that opportunity – and it is an opportunity – recognise it, enjoy it, relish it and deliver the performance. That has to be our aim.”
Warburton is well aware of the threat Celtic will pose to Gers in the game, but his message on how to win the game was a very simple one.
He continued: “Score more goals than them. Basically, that’s what it is. We need to take care of the football and try to dominate possession. They are a very good team and we need to look after the ball, get the ball into key areas of the park and get the rewards.
“Every team you play against, it is about getting the rewards. Goals change games – we look at the Parkhead game and the sending-off changed things etc. and the semi-final, we have to be better.
“So we are gelling as a team, we are making improvements, and hopefully we can turn in a good performance.”
The last league meeting between the two clubs came back in September and ended in a 5-1 reverse for Gers.
Since then though, Warburton feels his side are better than they were then, and insists they will continue to try and improve even further.
He added: “Of course we are. We just had 11 new players come in and who had played four games – of course you are going to be better. You need to work hard and gel as a team and work every day here at the training ground. We have done, and we will always be striving to be better than we are.
“We are in a good place right now. That was game five of the season, and we have moved on from there. We brought in a large number of players and players from that day won’t be present now so to speak, so from our point of view, we have moved on and we have gelled as a squad.
“We are where we are in the league and we have spoken about delivering highly competitive performances, and we are doing that. We’re doing what we asked right at the start of the season.”