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Rangers players must relish hostile Easter Road atmosphere, says Murty

By Andy Newport

Graeme Murty expects his Rangers players to handle the heat as they prepare for another fevered atmosphere at Easter Road.

The Ibrox men will be treated to a raucous welcome when they take on Hibernian in Leith on Wednesday night.

But caretaker boss Murty wants Gers to stand up to the flak from the stands in the same way they did when they beat Aberdeen at Pittodrie last week.

"The players have to deal with the atmosphere," he said. "The players dealt with it against Aberdeen, both at Ibrox and Pittodrie.

"They have to go and embrace that as a Rangers player, going into environments that are hostile and are spiky.

"That is just part of it and we still need to be brave enough to go there and play our stuff. We have to withstand whatever challenge gets thrown at us."

Rangers finally chalked up three straight wins for the first time in a year with victory over Ross County on Saturday.

Now Murty hopes the desperation in the Light Blues' ranks to sample another taste of that success will spur them on when they stare down Neil Lennon's side.

Victory in the capital will give Gers a six-point lead over Hibs, leaving them to focus on nearest challengers Aberdeen in the race for second.

Murty said: "They want that feeling again but the only way that you get that feeling again is by doing the small processes on the pitch that lead to a positive result.

"We have to get back to that, winning small things, small margins that make all the difference, winning individual battles, playing with a level of intensity that we are capable of and then not being phased by things outside our group.

"I am glad it (three wins in a row) is off the player's back because they are the ones who have to go and perform in a very big game on Wednesday.

"It is about confidence and making sure the players know what we did well and what we can improve.

"It's about building that confidence and identity again of the club we would like to be and the players who we'd like to go and take that mantra forward.

"You like to beat the people you're ahead of, we would like to make that gap we have on Hibs bigger if we can but it isn't about making a statement, it's not about coming out and shouting from the rooftops that we're this or that, it is about playing the game for the game's sake and taking the three points if we can.

"We know it is going to be difficult so we have to be really on our game and really on our metal to go and withstand their challenge."

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