Football: Durie puts Rangers in the clear

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The Independent Online
IN THE midst of an unusual season the predictability of Rangers' rise to the top of the Premier Division will be a disconcerting sight for many within the Scottish game. As the champions struggled in the early part of the season the inability of the main contenders to put a consistent run together led to a belief that the top spot was there to be claimed by Rangers whenever they got their house in order.

Their eclipse of the leaders Motherwell on Saturday was due to a brace of goals by Gordon Durie, their recent signing from Spurs. Having missed chances against Partick Thistle and Aberdeen in his first two games, Durie confessed to a feeling of relief that he has started to repay his pounds 1.2m transfer fee.

He has an added incentive to continue scoring as Duncan Ferguson, a pounds 4m capture from Dundee United, made his first appearance in a blue shirt since August, scoring one of the goals in a 3-1 reserve-team win over Dundee. He will, however, need a few more games before being considered for the first team but the menace of Rangers is growing and demands a continuing challenge.

Celtic have lost just one of their last 10 League games under Lou Macari and are seen by many as the most likely challengers. The new manager has indicated a desire to bring the Egyptian striker, Hossam Hassan, to Celtic Park. Given a fortunate win over St Johnstone at Celtic Park on Saturday there is a desperate need for a prolific striker.

Hibernian recorded only their second win in 11 games by beating Raith Rovers 2-1 while Aberdeen fell behind the leaders after drawing 1-1- with Hearts.

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