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McLeish: Rangers resolve can help turn tide against Celtic

The former Rangers boss believes his old side can lift the Premiership trophy.

McLeish: Rangers resolve can help turn tide against Celtic SNS Group

Former Rangers and Scotland manager believes Rangers can press home their advantage over Celtic and end the season as Premiership champions.

Steven Gerrard’s side beat their rivals at Celtic Park and followed that up with a 2-0 win over Livingston to open up a six point lead at the top of the table, albeit with a game in hand over Celtic.

McLeish believes that the Rangers squad will draw on the experience of losing momentum in previous seasons to make sure that they continue to stay a step ahead as they chase their dream.

“Guys like Allan McGregor and Steven Davis have been there before in terms of winning titles and winning cups and I’m sure they’re vociferous but there are also guys like James Tavernier who will be vocal in the dressing room,” McLeish told STV.

“There’s leaders who have been through a couple of mishaps in the past couple of seasons round about Christmas time or in the new year, when it’s kind of went pear-shaped with results in the second half of the season.

“They will be hammering it home to the players but I think it looks like there’s a real resolve there that they possibly lacked in the last two seasons.”

The former Ibrox boss also reckons Steven Gerrard has put together a balanced squad and now has a range of options that can be crucial in hard-to-win games.

“Steven Gerrard’s recruitment has been good,” he said. “There are strikers on the substitutes bench that you can easily bring on and can win a game for you, whereas in the past couple of seasons he maybe hasn’t had that strength.

“He’s brought Roofe and Itten in and I don’t know if they are top notch yet but Roofe’s goal the other night was maybe indication of what he can do. Stevie has got that and I think there’s more depth in the squad if Morelos goes off.

“You see the beautiful goal that Jermain Defoe scored yesterday and he’s still got a part to play. So they seem very rich in the striker department now.”

With Celtic now on a run of three games without a win and having given their rivals the upper hand in the Championship, McLeish thinks psychology could now play a part.

“I believe [the tide is turning] in terms of what I’ve seen so far,” he said. “Celtic have got to reach their level again, they’re below it at the moment. Confidence is a big thing as well.

“The Celtic players, you saw some of the goals they lost at Aberdeen, you know they are usually tight and don’t allow a shot at goal. They are players who are very highly regarded.

“But they are only human and there’s a confidence issue as well. Sometimes when your confidence goes then no matter what you try on the field you can’t get it back.

“That Celtic team have been through highs and lows, mainly highs, and they should have the mentality to get over this wee spell.

“But right now it’ll be tough for them thinking ‘How do we get out of this?’. The only way is to win.”