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Andy Halliday confident Rangers can cause Celtic problems at Ibrox

Halliday confident Rangers can cause Celtic problems at Ibrox
By PA Sport

30/12/2016 at 14:25Updated 30/12/2016 at 14:34

Andy Halliday insists Rangers are determined to prevent Celtic storming Ibrox as they ready themselves to defend a 15-month unbeaten record at home.

Gers have not lost in Govan since a League Cup defeat to St Johnstone in September last year.

But that proud run will come under significant threat when the rampant Hoops visit their bitter rivals for the first time since 2012 on Hogmanay.

Brendan Rodgers' undefeated Ladbrokes Premiership frontrunners can extend their giant lead to a staggering 19 points with victory while still holding a game in hand on their distant challengers.

Few expect Mark Warburton's men to trouble their Old Firm foes having lost both of this season's two earlier derby clashes.

Halliday, though, has promised the Light Blues faithful Rangers will put up a better fight this time.

The 25-year-old boyhood Gers supporter said: "We have got home advantage, we have the backing of the 50,000 fans that have turned up everywhere we have gone this season and they have certainly been a big 12th man for us.

"We have had a pretty good home record since the gaffer came in 18 months ago and we have to look and take positives out of that.

"We have not lost a league game at home since the gaffer came here so we need to keep that going on Saturday and get the win.

"From a fans point of view it is certainly bragging rights and listen, it is a massive derby but ultimately it is three points at stake so that is what we are going to try and go for.

"We must impose our style of play. I don't think we have really done ourselves justice over the last two games against Celtic.

"Celtic dominated the game at Celtic Park and won 5-1 and the semi-final at Hampden we were sort of hanging on and never really imposed our attacking style of play in that game.

"It is important we get back to that and I think we have done that in our last few games, our form over the last five games has been really good so it is important to take the positives out of that into Saturday."

Of the current Parkhead squad, only skipper Scott Brown and left-back Emilio Izaguirre have previous experience of an Old Firm clash at Ibrox.

And Halliday hopes the Ibrox support will make life as uncomfortable as possible for those sampling the clash on Glasgow's southside for the first time by cranking up the noise.

"This game is one we all look forward to, it is a massive fixture," said the midfielder. "It is the biggest fixture in Scottish football and it is my fourth one to be a part of and every one you look forward to.

"Celtic obviously have quite a healthy lead at the top of the table so it is important we put on a good show and try and chip away at that lead.

"It is such a big fixture it is one that every football player wants to play in but I don't think experience takes on too much significance.

"From the Celtic boys' point of view it is probably the first time they have come to Ibrox and they are going to experience a very hostile atmosphere but a very good one."

The size of the task facing his side, though, is not lost on Halliday.

They are going head to head with a team that has spilled just two points from 57 available, scoring on average three goals a game.

Gers have been unable to compete with those figures for much of the season, barely managing half the goals Celtic have struck on league duty this term.

However, Halliday is taking heart from recent wins over Hearts, Aberdeen, Hamilton and Inverness.

He said: "It's Celtic's best league start since 2004 so all credit to them. But from our own point of view, I think we've done really well the last few weeks.

"We were on a four-match winning run and then Wednesday's draw against St Johnstone was arguably the best we have played out of them all during the first spell, so we certainly see it as two points dropped.

"It's disappointing as we had a good bit of momentum going so it is tough to drop points. However, it is important to get back on track and hopefully get the win on Saturday."

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