Football

Valencia draw gives Rangers a boost

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Steven Whittaker insists everyone at Rangers is relishing the prospect of facing Celtic in the first Old Firm derby of the season this weekend after an impressive showing against Valencia in the Champions League.

Sunday's highly-anticipated trip to Celtic Park comes just days after the visit of the Spanish high-fliers. But, having emerged from that game disappointed with only a draw, Whittaker is confident Walter Smith's men will be ready for the battle with their greatest foes.

He said: "Now that the Valencia game is out of the way, the next few days will be spent trying to get the energy back in the legs and concentrating on Sunday. It's a game we are looking forward to."

The Scottish champions have endured a gruelling schedule in recent weeks as they attempt to balance their European aspirations with their defence of the title, with both Rangers and Celtic boasting 100% records in the Clydesdale Bank Premier League so far.

Maurice Edu netted for both clubs as Rangers were held to a 1-1 draw against Valencia, having passed up glorious chances to win the match.

"There is disappointment in the changing room and we have just drawn 1-1 with Valencia," said Whittaker.

"That tells the story. We created enough chances to win the game and we are a little bit disappointed.

"We are sitting in a good position and we have definitely improved upon our results last year, which were disappointing.

"We've had a great start to this campaign and we are unbeaten with one win and two draws. We are in there fighting and hopefully we can continue that in the next few games."

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