GRAEME MURTY has no doubt his side can handle the Old Firm heat as Rangers look to put the Premiership pressure on Celtic at Ibrox.

The Light Blues will move to within three points of Brendan Rodgers’ side at the top of the table if they can emerge victorious on Sunday.

Parkhead boss Rodgers has repeatedly insisted that all the expectation is on the Gers ahead of the third derby showdown of the season.

Read more: Rangers v Celtic: Our writers give their Old Firm predictions

But now Rangers have the chance to turn the spotlight on their Old Firm rivals as they look to continue their impressive recent run of form.

Murty said: “I think you would have to ask them [if a Rangers win asks questions of Celtic].

“I think what it would indicate is that we are closer than we have been. I am not comfortable talking about what that will mean to Celtic, what that will mean to Brendan.

“I am not there. That is for them to deal with.

“What I would say is if we win the game it would be really good in our mind, be really beneficial to our players and show them we are closer than we have been for a long time.

“But I reiterate, until we put together a season where we are up at the top and consistent, we still have improvements to make.

“Yeah, [I was] a little bit [surprised at Rodgers’ comments].

“But those guys are in front and we are always aware that whenever we play at Ibrox there is pressure on us to perform because we are being held to a really high standard by our fans and by the guys who have played here previously. We are used to handling that.

“Those guys are in charge, so if we go and perform perhaps the pressure might be elsewhere.”

It is the battle to be best of the rest that is likely to remain Rangers’ primary focus between now and the end of the campaign as they attempt to hold off Aberdeen in the Premiership.

Read more: Derek Johnstone: An Old Firm win would be another boxed ticked for Graeme Murty in the eyes of the Rangers board​

But a win over Celtic would give the Ibrox crowd a chance to dream about a potential challenge for the top flight title once again.

Murty said: “We’ve won six in a row but this is the biggest test. If we were to win it then it would add to our confidence and what we’re trying to do.

“It would make us start to say ‘Do you know what, we’re a good team’. I honestly don’t know if us winning would mean there is a title race.

“But until it’s mathematically impossible we’re up there. Celtic have done it.

“They are at the top of the league. We’re still chasing them and whether we chase them down or not won’t just be on this one game - it will be on the games after it.

“So we have to make sure what we do, from Sunday, is put ourselves in as good a position as possible to go and chase them down.

“But we have to make sure we continue it on, and continue our improvement, because we’re not the finished article as yet.

“We’re still coming together and improving but the positive steps we have made have made the conversation I’m having with you guys take on a new light.”