Rangers: Beating Celtic would boost Graeme Murty's job chances, says Weir

By David CurrieBBC Scotland
Former Rangers captain David Weir
Weir (left) won the Scottish Cup twice as a player with Rangers, along with three league titles

Securing second in the league and reaching the Scottish Cup final would boost Graeme Murty's chances of landing the Rangers job, says David Weir.

Interim boss Murty has been placed in charge until the end of the season.

And Weir, speaking ahead of Sunday's semi-final against Celtic, says Murty has handled a difficult situation well.

"Longer term, is he the right man for the job? Time will tell, but winning the semi final and finishing second in the league will certainly help that."

Murty's side currently sit second in the Premiership and will be aiming to end Celtic's hopes of potential back-to-back trebles.

Weir, who was number two at Rangers when they beat Celtic in the Scottish Cup semi-final two seasons ago, said: "I think Rangers are competitive, they're fighting for second place in the league, so that will be success this season and they're in the semi final of the cup."

Weir, 47, believes his former club's hopes of toppling Celtic hinge on having sufficient belief.

Regarding Rangers' prospects of booking a place in the Scottish Cup final against Aberdeen or Motherwell, he said: ''I think they've got to be organised. A little bit of luck always plays it's part. I think they have to believe they've got a chance. That's a massive part of it.

Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers (left) and Rangers counterpart Graeme Murty
Murty (right) will be aiming to end Celtic's hopes of a potential second treble

"They've got to believe they're good enough, they've got to believe in the method that's going to win them the game.

"They've got to have a plan in terms of what their strengths are in terms of how to maximise them and know what Celtic's weaknesses are and how they expose them.

"Rangers have good attacking players, they look like they're going to score goals now, they create chances and that always gives you a chance."

However, Weir acknowledges that Brendan Rodgers' side are favourites to reach the final.

'Put a marker down'

"Celtic have got, or are perceived to have, better players, in terms of international caps, more league titles, more success in the domestic game," he said.

"So, you look at Celtic and say they probably have better players, but it's a semi final and it's a one-off. You always look at Celtic and say they're favourites, but, if you can be organised and have a plan and execute it on the day, you have a chance."

"The last couple of Old Firm games have been tight. Celtic have managed to come out on the right end of it, but Rangers have been in it and had opportunities; have missed chances and had numerical advantages to win the game.

"So there have been opportunities for Rangers to win the game but unfortunately haven't quite managed to do that."

Weir sees parallels between Sunday's match and the semi-final two years ago when Rangers won after extra-time and penalties.

Rangers celebrate their penalty shoot-out win over Celtic at Hampden in 2016
Rangers knocked Celtic out of the Scottish Cup in 2016

''It's similar. They [Celtic] are close to clinching the league, they've won another cup, have a settled squad, a manager who has got good experience, knows the group and understands their requirements," added Weir. "They're on course, as it stands, for a second treble.

"It's a really difficult proposition in terms of bridging that gap and being competitive in the game. Obviously they haven't beaten Celtic for a while, so it's a massive challenge but also a really good opportunity for Rangers to put a marker down.''

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