Smith wants top performance
Walter Smith is targeting a top performance from Rangers when they take on Celtic on Sunday.
Last Updated: 13/02/09 6:34pm
Walter Smith is targeting a top performance from Rangers if they are to beat Celtic on Sunday and leap-frog their rivals at the top of the SPL.
Honours are even in Old Firm clashes so far this term, with Gers winning 4-2 at Celtic Park before Celtic claimed a 1-0 victory at Ibrox.
A second Old Firm away win of the season would see Gers go top but Smith knows his side need to put in a huge performance.
He said: ""It would be a huge result for us if we managed to win. We have won at Celtic Park already this season and Celtic have won at Ibrox, so it would be nice if we could go back there and win again.
"But we will have to turn in a very similar performance - or an even better one - if we are to do that.
"As the season goes on, the games become a bit more important when we meet head to head. It will be a big game for both teams."
But Smith believes it is impossible to predict what will happen, saying: "You are never really surprised at what happens in Old Firm games.
"Our win at Celtic Park was a tight game. At one stage, we were 4-1 up and, really, that wasn't an overall indication of how the game was going. It was far tighter than that.
"In the game at Ibrox, we played as well as we had done in any of the previous Old Firm games and lost the game.
"It just shows that you have to be careful; they are not easy games to make assessments on.
"It's performance more than anything else and I'll be pleased if we can match the performance of the previous two games."
Highly-rated 17-year-old John Fleck could make his Old Firm debut in the game, with Smith hinting he could play.
Smith said: "He wants to play and he has wanted to play in all the games. In his own mind, he is ready to play in these games.
"There is no other reason - other than what I think is the right thing to do in terms of our overall team - why he shouldn't be. He has an all-round ability to play the game.
"He has good touch and control, good vision, he's quick and he has a bit of physical strength about him as well, even though he is not the tallest.
"He is just starting out so he has a lot more to come and a lot more to learn. Hopefully, he will do that. He has had a good start in his first few games but that has to continue."
Meanwhile, Gers player Lee McCulloch insists defeat to Celtic this weekend would not kill off Rangers' SPL title hopes.
He said: "You don't want to go there and lose but I wouldn't say the season would be over. There is a lot of football left, a lot of big games to be played.
"We are obviously going to go there and try to win but it's going to be difficult and they have the mental strength. I wouldn't say it would be over if we lost - but it might be close to over."
But he believes it would give Gers a big advantage if they could win.
"It would put the momentum on our side because our form has been good lately," he said.
"But, in Old Firm games, form doesn't matter. If we were to win, it would set us up but we know how difficult it's going to be."