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Murty remains confident under-fire Rangers can take second place

Gers saw their two rivals for runners-up spot, Abdedeen and Hibernian, both win on Saturday.

Graeme Murty has backed his under-fire Rangers squad to silence their doubters and clinch second place in the Ladbrokes Premiership.

Gers’ fragile confidence was laid bare last weekend as they were ripped apart by Celtic in the William Hill Scottish Cup semi-final at Hampden.

That crushing 4-0 defeat to their bitter rivals was followed by a dressing-room bust-up that has resulted in Kenny Miller and Lee Wallace being banished from the club while an investigation is carried out.

Their mettle will now be put to the test once again on Sunday when they face Hearts.

With Hibernian beating champions-elect Celtic in Saturday’s early kick-off and Aberdeen downing Kilmarnock later in the day, Gers know they can ill afford to slip up against the Jambos as the race for second spot intensifies.

But a week on from what Murty admitted was the worst day in his footballing life, the Rangers manager attempted to put up a defiant stand as he said: “I’ve told you guys all along – don’t judge us when we win six in a row, don’t judge us when we get beat, don’t pat me on the back. Judge us at the end.

“I’m confident that this team has more than enough in the tank to finish second.

“I said that at the very start and I’ll reiterate it now. That belief won’t change.”

Everyone from Murty to his players and even Dave King’s board of directors have had their recent contribution to Rangers’ cause questioned by the furious Ibrox faithful in the past few days.

But victory over the Gorgie men would be the first step on the way to repairing what is becoming an ever-widening rift, according to the manager.

“I expect us to be high-tempo, aggressive and put on a better performance than we did last week,” said Murty. “We have got to start quick, we need to start sharp and lay out our intentions.

“We need to ensure the disappointment of what happened at Hampden doesn’t derail our last five games of the season.

“That’s our challenge for us collectively, not just me.

“It’s every single member of my staff, the playing staff and the fans job to make sure we unite and get out onto the pitch in the right manner and move forward.

“There is nothing stronger than this football club when everyone is pulling in the right direction.

“All I can take care of is the guys in front of me. We need to sure we are at the forefront of it, because we’re the public face of the club.

“We need to put on a really good performance to reassure those guys that have had that bit of belief knocked out of them this week that we are going in the right direction.”

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