Rangers manager Michael Beale has challenged his players to “show a different face” and start strongly against Celtic.
The sides meet at Celtic Park in Saturday’s lunchtime Premiership match, with the hosts holding a nine-point lead and have eight games left to play.
Beale says that makes it “obvious” his side need to win and he believes they need to silence the Celtic crowd first.
With no away support inside the stadium,. Rangers will be in unfamiliar territory but the manager wants them to cast that aside and make more of an early impact than in the derbies he has seen so far this season.
“We’re going away from home with no fans, the home crowd will be up and it’s important we start strong and start winning the duels,” Beale said.
“We were too slow in both games, that’s not the Rangers in this fixture I remember. But it’s the Rangers in this fixture I’ve inherited and it’s important we show a different face.
“If we get moments, we have to execute. We had big moments at Ibrox and Hampden and we didn’t execute.
“Ultimately it comes down to the boxes. You’d like to be dominant between them but big games are won in the two penalty boxes and the games are always tight and generally won and lost in moments.”
Though Rangers have shown good form in the league since Beale succeeded Giovanni van Bronckhorst, Celtic have been relentless in their defence of the league title, unbeaten in 23 competitive games and without a league defeat since September.
The Rangers manager said his team had given it their all but feels it would take something remarkable for the title race to conclude in anything other than their rivals lifting the trophy.
“Since I’ve come back, we’ve had 15 league games, with 14 wins and a draw,” Beale said. We’ve played our part.
“It’s fair to say Celtic have played their part and done equally as well as us because our form’s been fantastic. The players in that sense have done nearly everything they can do.
“Ultimately all we can do is win our games. It’s Celtic’s league to throw away or lose and it doesn’t look like, outside the games with us, they will drop points.”
Regardless of the difficult challenge, the manager said he was relishing the prospect of taking on Ange Postecoglou and his side.
“I enjoy the big games,” he said. “They are the reason you work and the reason you are in the game.
“It’s a huge privilege to be involved in. Certainly away from home you feel a difference and they are going to come for you, there’s a huge opportunity for both sets of players tomorrow.”
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