Steven Gerrard insists Rangers will go to Celtic full of confidence

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Rangers manager Steven Gerrard insists his team will travel to Celtic Park full of confidence they can close the gap on their Old Firm rivals at the top of the Premiership.

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The Ibrox side remain five points behind the champions, with a game in hand, after Alfredo Morelos stepped off the bench to score the only goal of their Boxing Day fixture at home to Kilmarnock.

Rangers manager Steven Gerrard. Picture: SNS

Rangers manager Steven Gerrard. Picture: SNS

Gerrard remains encouraged by his team’s display against Celtic in the League Cup Final earlier this month, despite their defeat at Hampden, and is bullish about their prospects in the final derby of the decade between Glasgow’s big two.

“We have a game in hand, so I’m not really too concerned about gaps (at the top of the league),” said Gerrard. “I’m concerned with my team winning football matches.

“We are going to Parkhead in good form and good shape. We know it will be a very tough match, they have a very strong home record.

“But we played Celtic a few weeks ago and put a good show on, gave a good account of ourselves. I expect us to go there with confidence and belief we can get a result.”

Having played some scintillating football in their 3-0 win at Hibs last Friday, Rangers had to grind out the victory over Kilmarnock.

“I’m delighted because we got exactly out of this game what we got out of Hibs - three points, a clean sheet and on we go,” said Gerrard.

“I apologise if it didn’t look pretty for the supporters, that it wasn’t three, four or five goals. But I’m going away very happy because it’s a win and a clean sheet.

“We set out to entertain, to play well and for it to look brilliant on the eye. But teams are not going to just allow that every single week.

“You have to give credit to Kilmarnock, they defended resolutely. They had no ambition to win the game but we have to accept that teams are going to come here and try to steal points away from us.

“Killie did it very well for a lot of the game and we had to force the goal. So we are learning, but we have to get used to it because a lot of teams will come and do that after the winter break as well.”

Gerrard played down reports in the French media linking Rangers with a January move for Chelsea striker Olivier Giroud.

“We are getting linked with some good players,” he said. “But I don’t know anything about it, to be honest. If someone knows something about it, give them my number. That’s the first I’ve heard of it. He’s a good player, though.”