Celtic's Brendan Rodgers on Rangers' Graeme Murty

Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers during the Scottish Cup Quarter Final match between Celtic and Greenock Morton at Celtic Park on March 3, 2018 in Glasgow, Scotland.

Rangers host Old Firm and Scottish Premiership rivals Celtic at Ibrox as Brendan Rodgers and Graeme Murty go head-to-head.

Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers during the Scottish Cup Quarter Final match between Celtic and Greenock Morton at Celtic Park on March 3, 2018 in Glasgow, Scotland.

There has been no ‘war of words’ or verbal sparring between Brendan Rodgers and Graeme Murty in the lead-up to Sunday’s Old Firm clash between Rangers and Celtic at Ibrox.

Instead, the mutual respect for both managers is clear to see from both sides. While Rodgers looks to be leading Celtic to a seventh straight Scottish Premiership title, the gap between themselves and Rangers is only six points – a stark contrast to the huge lead The Hoops enjoyed through the entirety of last season.

While Celtic have struggled on the pitch recently, the fact that Rangers are as close as they are to their main rivals is testament to the vast improvements made since Murty replaced Pedro Caixinha in the Ibrox dugout back in October.

Rangers manager Graeme Murty is seen during the Scottish Cup Quarter final match between Rangers and Hamilton Academical at Ibrox Stadium on March 4, 2017 in Glasgow, Scotland.

And, in Rodgers’ eyes, Rangers should put their faith in their former youth team coach and hand Murty a deal beyond the end of this season.

“Graeme has done enough to get the job long-term,” the former Liverpool and Swansea City boss told the Daily Record.

“It’s never easy in your first management job, especially one of that scale. The minute he got it until the end of the season he’s been able to do it the way he wants to.

Rangers manager Graeme Murty is seen during the Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership match between Rangers and Aberdeen at Ibrox Stadium on January 24, 2018 in Glasgow, Scotland.

Rodgers has a point. Would Murty really be willing to jump back into a reserve team role at Ibrox now the managerial bug has bitten?

The 43-year-old has emerged as one of the most impressive young coaches in British football and, if Rangers aren’t willing to back him with an extended contract, there will surely be no shortage of other clubs willing to give Murty a chance.

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