There may be 13 years and more than 200 top-flight goals in Scottish football between them, but in Kris Boyd and Alfredo Morelos, Graeme Murty sees two kindred spirits.
The top two goalscorers in the Premiership will face off at Ibrox today with veteran Kilmarnock striker Boyd hoping to add to his tally at the expense of former club Rangers, who have Colombian youngster Morelos seeking to atone for his costly close-range miss in last Sunday’s dramatic Old Firm defeat.
Rangers manager Murty, pictured, has challenged Morelos to channel his frustration by stepping up his bid to mark his first season at the club by becoming the country’s top marksman, a race currently led by 34-year-old Boyd, who has 19 goals in all competitions, two more than Morelos.
Murty is full of admiration for Boyd’s longevity and unquenchable thirst for goals. He first witnessed it back in 2006 when he was in the same Scotland side as Boyd who marked his international debut with a double in a 5-1 win over Bulgaria.
“Kris lives to score goals and Alfredo is the same,” said Murty. “With Kris, what you see is what you get. He’s strong, awkward to play against and, most of all, a fantastic finisher. The ball seems to go into the goal off numerous parts of his body.
“Wherever he’s been in his career, he’s been a threat to the goal. It’s a testament to his desire to continue to play, it’s a testament to his team-mates’ desire to keep on feeding him and it’s a testament to the quality he has that he is still a threat to the goal. He always will remain a threat to the goal as long as he continues to play.
“Alfredo was very down at the start of this week. He was very low, as you would expect after the Celtic game. He has to put it behind him and learn from it.
“I don’t believe he will be cowed by it. But I also believe we have to get him in front of the goal again and get him over it, get him back on the horse and get him confident again. It’s up to us to get him in that situation again. The best way to get over it is to get another one. Get a goal. Then go and get another one. Finish as the top scorer in the country and finish the season on a high.
“He’s at his happiest in the 18-yard box scoring goals so we try to structure a significant portion of his week in training so he gets to do that. He will gain confidence from doing that but as soon as he gets a goal, everything else will be behind him. He’ll have a big smile on his face again and he’ll be desperate to get the next one.”