MARK WARBURTON insists his players will be fired up and determined to extend their winning league run in December against St Johnstone tomorrow night.
The Gers squad were able to enjoy Christmas Day with their families after Saturday’s win over Inverness Caley Thistle, but they were back in Auchenhowie yesterday to get ready for two massive games before the turn of the year.
Saturday’s Old Firm showdown at Ibrox is, of course, a mouthwatering prospect for every football fan, but beating a Saints side sitting fifth in the table will be the first test for a Rangers side growing in confidence after a month of positive results.
Speaking after the 1-0 victory over ICT, Warburton said: “Absolutely, they come thick and fast, but right now all the focus turns to Wednesday night.
It’s a tough place to go to against a very good team, a very well managed team, so we’ll prepare well.
“The plan was to make three or four changes on Wednesday night, we have to see how the bumps and bruises turn out.
“But we will make three or four changes, not to weaken the team, far from it, just to use the squad, trust every single player – there is no problem doing that.
“Saturday doesn’t matter at the moment, the only focus is three points on Wednesday night. Once we get that out of the way, touch wood, then we can look forward.”
The Light Blues could only draw 1-1 when they last faced the Saints at Ibrox back on October 26, with Joe Garner on target on that occasion after Blair Alston had opened the scoring for the visitors with just five minutes played.
Warburton expects another battle, this time in Perth, against a well-drilled side.
He added: “As I said they are a very good team. They’ve been very good away from home actually, their home record, which is always very strong, hasn’t been quite so strong.
“But we recognise that they are a very good team. They’ve got good quality throughout, they are dangerous, physicality is good as well and Tommy [Wright] is a top class manager.
“So it is another tough test and it’s the same rhetoric every game. You have to go into these games well prepared and if not you get punished.”