Rodgers: Derby win puts Celtic a big step closer to the title

Rangers defender David Bates will find out on Wednesday the extent of his ankle injury

Whether we win or lose, we fight to the last minute and we have won here a few times now and we knew if we could do it even if we had 11 or 10 men.

At no stage since Brendan Rodgers arrived in this country almost two years ago have their prospects of prevailing been so good; they went into the match performing well and on the back of a six game winning run while their opponents had been exhibiting indifferent form and were missing several key men.

I'm not sure there is a bigger game for us to play in now.

Celtic had twice pegged back Rangers in the opening half but lost Jozo Simunovic soon after the break, the defender shown a straight red card for elbowing Alfredo Morelos. "We made some mistakes in the first half defensively and went behind".

He was more expansive praising keeper Scott Bain, on loan from Dundee since January, who replaced injured Dorus de Vries to make his Hoops debut.

"I've got a group of players who are hurting, frustrated and are wanting to do better". He has the quality to go either way but to show such composure and to go in the inside and finish like that it really endears him to the supporters, especially at Ibrox.

A Rangers win would reduce the gap at the top to just three points - with Murty's men having played a game more than the Hoops - and give some credibility to a division badly in need of a competitive title race.

It was confirmed Bates had not broken a bone during Sunday's five-goal Old Firm thriller
It was confirmed Bates had not broken a bone during Sunday's five-goal Old Firm thriller

The sight of Dedryck Boyata, who had gifted Windass the first goal early on and been muscled off the ball by Morelos when Daniel Candeias scored the second, partnering Kristoffer Ajer in the heart of the vistors' defence will not have filled the travelling support with great confidence.

"It's incredibly tough, but we were punished by not doing the basics very, very well - passing the ball, shifting the ball and defending", the Rangers boss said on Sky Sports. "We also respect our opposition and we'll focus on what we're trying to do".

"The people on the pitch had more than enough experience and opportunity to go and win that and we've managed to throw it away", Murty told Rangers TV.

'I'm delighted for Scott, ' he continued.

'We gave him an idea last night that he may be playing, but it was only officially this morning that we said: "Listen, your first game for Celtic is at Ibrox". "We have to be ready for whatever they bring".

'But, of course, how it works for goalkeepers is that it takes something to happen for him to get an opportunity.

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