Rangers manager McCoist bullish on Old Firm match

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McCoist insists Celtic's one point advantage counts for nothing

Rangers boss Ally McCoist insists his players will be ready for Wednesday's encounter with Celtic, despite Saturday's 2-1 defeat by St Mirren.

The Ibrox side will have Lee McCulloch available now that .

"I can assure you we will be ready for the game, I can guarantee you that," said McCoist.

"It's going to be tough but we'll be ready. The players won't need lifted because it's a big, big game."

Saturday's loss away to St Mirren, coupled with Celtic's 2-1 victory at home to Kilmarnock reduced Rangers' lead at the top of the Scottish Premier League table to one point, making Wednesday's meeting at Celtic Park a crucial milestone in the title race.

Rangers' appeal of McCulloch's red card for elbowing Graham Carey will not be heard by the Scottish Football Association until 5 January at the earliest so the midfielder can face Neil Lennon's side.

Although disappointed by the two dismissals, McCoist believes he has enough options to fill the gap and club captain David Weir could be in contention to take the place of the suspended Goian who was shown two yellow cards against St Mirren.

"I won't lie to you, it's not ideal," said McCoist. "But we've got one or two other things we can do.

"We've got Kyle Bartley and Kirk Broadfoot and Davie Weir and boys like that.

"As disappointing as it is, and we would rather not have that situation, it's not something that we can't handle."

Despite surrendering a 15 point lead in the title race since November, McCoist denied that the momentum now lay with Celtic and insisted that form plays no part in the famous Glasgow derby.

"The truth of the matter is I would rather be a point ahead than a point behind," said McCoist. "Of that there is no doubt.

"Celtic are on a good run of form at the moment in terms of victories, but it counts for absolutely nothing."

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