McCulloch values mental strength

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Football News

Lee McCulloch believes character and belief - rather than individual talent - are the qualities that will decide the destination of the Clydesdale Bank Premier League title this season.

The Rangers midfielder remains on the sidelines for Tuesday night's clash at Dundee United but is hopeful of making his comeback in this weekend's final Old Firm derby of the season.

McCulloch is well aware of just how important the next seven days could be to Rangers' hopes of defending the SPL crown but insists they have already demonstrated their own strength of character this season. "When it goes right down to the wire, that's when the nerves start kicking in," the former Wigan midfielder said.

He added: "It's a good opportunity to show the character you've got and your self-belief. I think it all comes down to that. It's not about individual talent, I think it's about belief in your team-mates and everybody pulling in the one direction.

"Over the last couple of years, we have had that. Over the course of the season we have pulled through. We have been behind, we've scored some late goals in games to take the three points and I think that just shows the character we have got."

Rangers are aiming for their third successive title and McCulloch added: "You do gain experience from that and if there is any way we can use that experience to get us over the line this time we will.

"But it's just a case of the boys in the dressing room sticking together and trying to pull through to win it."

McCulloch has been out of action since February 2, when a persistent knee problem forced him under the knife, and has nothing but praise for his team-mates who have had to battle on this term.

Rangers have been forced to grind out results recently but, as far as McCulloch is concerned, the players are still producing the goods.

He said: "They have been brilliant. At times it's hard to put on a show if you are tired going into games. It's just all about the results at this stage. You can see at times in the games there are tired legs but, with the amount of games those same boys have played this season, they have been a credit to themselves."

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