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James Tavernier assesses psychological impact of Rangers’ unbeaten run over Celtic ahead of Old Firm clash

JAMES TAVERNIER has downplayed the mental impact of Rangers’ lengthy unbeaten Old Firm run ahead of the second derby clash of the campaign.

The champions hold a two point lead at the top of the Premiership heading into what could be a hugely significant Parkhead showdown.

Rangers have not lost to their historic rivals since Steven Gerrard’s side were beaten in the League Cup final in December 2019 as Christopher Jullien netted the only goal of the game at Hampden.

“Every game is new,” Tavernier said when asked about the psychological advantage of Rangers’ unbeaten run in the Old Firm fixture.

“It’s something that we don’t really think about too much. When each game comes along, it always has its differences and we want to come into this game and get the result that we want.

“It’s our next game. We work game by game. This is one game that we want to get the maximum points from and then move on to the weekend.”

The derby clash under the floodlights will see boss Giovanni van Bronckhorst go head-to-head with Celtic counterpart Ange Postecoglou for the first time in the dugout.

The evening kick-off is a rare occurrence for the Old Firm fixture these days and Tavernier knows Rangers will have to keep their cool in front of the Parkhead stands that will be filled with home supporters.

Tavernier said: “It comes from our experience as footballers. We know what we have to do when we get there.

“We have a game plan and we want to carry that out. If we stick to that then the game will look after itself.

“These are the games you want to be playing in. I know the boys are all looking forward to it.

“This is the first one I have played in the night-time, I am looking forward to it.

“You just have to trust what we are doing and what our plans are and deliver it the best we can.”

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