Lee McCulloch thinks victory against Hearts is vital

Lee McCulloch thinks that Rangers need a win on Sunday afternoon to set them up for the rest of the season.

The importance of Sunday’s game against Hearts cannot be underestimated, and Lee McCulloch was quick to point out the significance of the fixture to the club's official website.

Rangers need a win against the league champions to keep in touch with Hibernian, with overtaking them still a possibility if Hibs fail to beat Queen of the South on Saturday.

Keeping the pressure on the second-placed side is paramount if Rangers are to avoid playing two extra play-off games at the end of the season, and they will require three points from a formidable Hearts side to keep them in a commanding position.

Robbie Neilson’s side have got the better of the Light Blues twice this season, winning once on the first day of the season and again in November when Rangers were reduced to 10 men after starting the game brightly.

Rangers captain McCulloch has featured in the previous two games against the Jambos and knows how hard the game will be against the deserved league winners who have dominated the Scottish Championship this term.

"They are deservedly winners of the League, they have a good young manager, a good staff and a good young squad of players," he told the club's official website.

"It's good for them but it's not that good for us. It's still in our hands whether we go and make this a successful season or not.

"We certainly can't argue with Hearts' form but for our own sake, we need to keep building momentum and that's what we are doing just now.

"A positive result against Hearts could set us up for the remaining games of the season. We're all really looking forward to another home game with a big crowd."

Stuart McCall has spoken about the possibility of changing formation against Hearts due to them having different strengths to Hibs and Cowdenbeath, but any decision to change the system would be a surprise given how well the team has adapted to it.

A win against the Edinburgh side would be a further confidence boost for Rangers and give them the opportunity to show the improvements under McCall aren’t temporary as they look to make a Scottish Premiership return.

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