Rangers 2-0 Hearts: Graeme Murty plays down talk of title challenge

Rangers manager Graeme Murty
Rangers manager Graeme Murty has led his side to a run of 10 games with only one defeat

Manager Graeme Murty played down the notion that Rangers are now involved in a Premiership title race with Celtic.

The Ibrox side's 2-0 win over Hearts moved them to within six points of the leaders, who have a game in hand against third-place Aberdeen on Sunday.

"I'm not sure we're in Celtic's minds. They'll take care of themselves and play as well as they can," Murty told the club website.

"All we can do is make sure we do our job and that's the message we take on."

Rangers, who have lost once in their last 10 matches, face St Johnstone on Tuesday and their next league match after that is at home to defending champions Celtic.

Rangers' goalscorers against Hearts, Russell Martin and Jamie Murphy
Rangers defender Russell Martin, left, completed the scoring after Jamie Murphy, right. scored the opener

"They are top of the league for a good reason," Murty said.

"We will just concentrate on us and make sure we finish the season as best we can.

"There will be very many interested eyes from our group on that [Aberdeen v Celtic] game.

"But our group have to take solace and comfort from taking care of the business that they can take care of - and maybe they haven't in the past - and that is the really pleasing thing for me. "

Hearts attackers Kyle Lafferty and Steven Naismith at Ibrox
Former Rangers players Kyle Lafferty and Steven Naismith returned to Ibrox with Hearts

Murty's side secured the win over Hearts thanks to Jamie Murphy's first-half strike and a late Russell Martin tap in, and the Ibrox manager believes that there was room for improvement in the performance.

"It was a thoroughly professional performance but we can get better," he said.

"As good as we were at times, and as many chances as we created, I have a group who are a little bit frustrated because they know they can do better in all aspects of the game which, for me as a manager, is a very happy thought.

"Under some pressure, when things weren't quite clicking at times, the guys found a way to still score goals and create chances against a very stubborn and well-organised opponent."

Hearts assistant manager Austin MacPhee and manager Craig Levein
Hearts manager Craig Levein, right, felt his side could have lost by more goals at Ibrox

Hearts manager Craig Levein felt his side could have lost by more goals, and praised the display of goalkeeper Jon McLaughlin, who produced a series of saves to defy Rangers.

"Truthfully, we probably got away with one today. Two-nil flatters us," the Hearts manager said.

"I thought our goalkeeper was excellent as were (central defenders) John Souttar and Christophe Berra. So that tells you pretty much about the performance.

"We had a 10 to 15 minute spell in the first half where we had opportunities but we didn't capitalise on it.

"Any time we showed composure it looked like we might get something and we missed a couple of chances but Graeme will say the same, they had more opportunities than us by far."

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