Celtic 0-0 Rangers: Graeme Murty says half-time confrontation fired Gers

Rangers manager Graeme Murty with Ross McCrorie and Josh Windass
Rangers manager Graeme Murty allowed his players to problem solve among themselves at half-time at Celtic Park

Rangers manager Graeme Murty says a "frank exchange of views" among his players at the interval prompted a spirited second-half display in the 0-0 draw at Celtic Park.

Celtic had the better chances in the first half, but then Rangers were on top and almost scored through Alfredo Morelos, twice, and James Tavernier.

"I left them to it," Murty said of the half-time arguments.

"Then you control it and get them focused. It was just solving problems."

Scott Sinclair came closest to breaking the deadlock in the opening period, steering a shot just wide from close range, but Rangers were rejuvenated during the break and were the better side in the second period.

Celtic goalkeeper Craig Gordon and Rangers striker Alfredo Morelos
Rangers striker Alfredo Morelos missed two clear chances in the second half of the Old Firm derby

Morelos had a point-blank header deflected wide by Celtic goalkeeper Craig Gordon, and the Colombian sent another header wide, while Tavernier's volley was tipped over by Gordon.

Murty has now managed Rangers twice at Celtic Park, earning a 1-1 draw during his caretaker spell in charge last season, and another draw that means he has taken 10 points out of 12 from trips to Pittodrie, Easter Road, Murrayfield and Celtic Park this term.

"It was great at half-time because there were some frank exchanges of views among the players to try to improve and that energy took them out to the second half, " said Murty, who will appoint Falkirk assistant Jimmy Nicholl as his number two next week.

Rangers manager Graeme Murty and Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers
Rangers manager Graeme Murty has now faced Celtic counterpart Brendan Rodgers twice, and drawn both games

"In the heat of the moment, you are in the changing room and your hormones are charging around and your energy is high. It gets a bit fraught and frantic.

"Let that release off, let the guys get it out and then give them a really good solution, and that's what we did.

"The guys in the changing room are frustrated because we created some good chances.

"I am really proud of the way the players approached the game and withstood a really harsh challenge."

Murty has won seven, drawn one and lost four of his 12 games in charge since succeeding Pedro Caixinha in October, first as caretaker then as manager until at least the end of the season.

Rangers captain Bruno Alves
Rangers captain Bruno Alves lasted 18 minutes against Celtic before injuring his leg

"We have to use that as fuel to move forward. We can't take a backward step from here," said Murty, who revealed that Portuguese defender Bruno Alves was left on crutches and in a protective boot after leaving the field in the first half with a leg knock.

"(We were) walking off the pitch elated a little bit because of the manner of the performance, but we know we could have won it.

"I said to them, when I walked out of this place last time there was a sense of 'job well done'.

"I sit here now with a real sense of a job and a journey which we are just starting out on and if we do that this game will have served a really good purpose beyond getting a point."

Rangers also want Michael O'Halloran to return from his loan spell at St Johnstone in January, although the Perth club's manager Tommy Wright remains hopeful he might get him back for the second half of the season.

Top Stories