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Warburton relishing Rangers´ underdog status in Old Firm derby

Mark Warburton is relishing Rangers’ status as underdogs for Saturday’s first Old Firm clash of the season against Celtic.

The teams have not met in the Scottish Premiership since 2012, but Rangers beat Celtic on penalties in the Scottish Cup semi-final in April.

Warburton insisted he sees the match as like any other although he does not take the significance of the Old Firm derby lightly, while his team will take confidence from that cup victory.

“You’re never going to underestimate the importance of this occasion, but it’s just another three points,” Warburton told reporters on Thursday.

“We are aware of our responsibilities, but the players are well prepared, there is no doubt about that.

“We’re just going to play our game. If you read the bookies’ odds and believe them there’s not much point turning up. We’re relishing it.

“Like last time, I’ve read all the comments from ex-players and managers. If we go in there and do what we do well, we’ll be fine.

“I will never ever doubt the quality and the ability of our group of players. We had no doubts we could win the semi-final and we did it. We go into this weekend just the same.

“I expect a very, very good game of football, and hopefully a high quality game of football.”

Warburton revealed Rangers are approaching a fully fit squad for the clash against Celtic, with Matt Crooks and Joe Dodoo the only two players unavailable for his starting line-up for Saturday’s match.

“We are getting better, the squad is gelling really well and we are in a good place,” Warburton said.

“We welcomed back Jason Holt to full training today and Josh Windass and Martyn Waghorn played last week. We’re nearing full-strength.

“Matt Crooks and Joe Dodoo are the only two we know won’t start.”

Thu 8 Sep, 2016
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