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Goldson craving another taste of Old Firm glory

 

Blown away: Connor Goldson savoured December's triumph
Blown away: Connor Goldson savoured December's triumph

By Andy Newport

Connor Goldson was blown away by his first Old Firm experience at Ibrox and now the Rangers defender hopes a repeat performance will provide a double dose of derby delight.

Gers host their bitter rivals tomorrow as the Glasgow foes square off for the fourth and final time this season.

So far, champions Celtic lead the way having come out on top in both Parkhead clashes, but Goldson is determined to back up December's triumph for Steven Gerrard's side.

Ryan Jack's strike proved the winner in the final showdown before the winter break as Ibrox erupted amid jubilant scenes in the Scottish capital.

Rangers played to their maximum and got their rewards with a deserved victory, their first league win over the Hoops since 2012.

Goldson was left wowed after the final whistle as he stood in front of the Copland Road stand soaking up the Ibrox faithful's joyous celebrations.

But the centre-back says his side will need to hit those heights again if they are to level up this season's derby head-to-head and get another taste of Old Firm ecstasy.

He said: "In every Old Firm, you know you're going to play against a good side and that you will have to be at your best.

"On December 29, we managed to reach our best level and did enough to win the game.

"That just shows us as a team that if you want to come out on top of these games, then that is the standard you need to reach.

"That match was up there with the best experiences I've had. It was a great day. I've enjoyed all the Old Firms even though the results haven't been great.

"The team has been performing great and hopefully if we can get another top performance we'll get the three points."

James Forrest's late winner broke blue hearts the last time the big two met after Gers mounted a spirited second-half fightback with just 10 men.

Alfredo Morelos was sent off for lashing out at Scott Brown but Ryan Kent's stunning solo strike restored parity after Odsonne Eduoard's opener.

There was to be no rewards, however, as Celtic pounced on James Tavernier's blunder to take another huge step towards their eighth title in a row.

But, despite the pain of that setback, Rangers have responded impressively with five straight wins and Goldson says that is down to the belief generated by their display in the second 45 minutes at Parkhead.

He said: "In the last Old Firm we know that we performed well, especially in the second half. We were very reactive in the first half to what they were throwing at us. But after the break we were right on the front foot. We had nothing to lose and since then we've gone on a good run.

"Now we're going into this one with confidence. We're keeping clean sheets and looking solid.

"We're not allowing many shots on our goal and I think the only goal we've conceded was away to Hearts. We've been strong in that area but, as well as that, we've been scoring, and when you've got a good blend of both it's a recipe for success."

• BOBBY Burns scored his first goal for Hearts, however it wasn't enough to prevent them falling to a 2-1 defeat to Aberdeen at Pittodrie.

The former Glenavon star fired in the equaliser after Lewis Ferguson had put the Dons ahead early in the second-half, only for Greg Stewart to hand the hosts all three points.

The defeat leaves Hearts in sixth, and they could be overtaken by St Johnstone should they defeat Motherwell today.

Aberdeen leapfrog Kilmarnock into third with the win.

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