Boyd believes Rangers have edge in title battle

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The Independent Online

Rangers striker Kris Boyd believes all the pressure is on defending champions Celtic as the two teams battle it out for this year's Scottish Premier League crown.

Both teams are level on points, with only goal difference giving the Ibrox men the advantage, and Boyd is well aware the title race is likely to go the distance again this season.

But he believes even being just four goals ahead of their rivals has given Walter Smith's men a psychological edge, having spent so much of the campaign trailing the champions.

"It gives you a boost," he said. "They are the defending champions and they have to defend their crown, so it's up to them to show they are good enough to win the league.

"But we won't be giving up, we will challenge right until the end and see what happens. You saw last season how close we came and I feel we have strengthened this season. I think Celtic will be worried as well. We were seven points behind not so long ago and we have managed to get that back.

"We sit at the top of the table but we aren't getting carried away. We know we've got a fight on our hands between now and the end of the season."

Celtic's emphatic 7-0 victory over St Mirren at the weekend allowed them to slash Rangers' superior goal difference from 10 goals. But, despite being the leading scorer in the SPL, Boyd insists there is no extra pressure on his shoulders to restore that advantage. "I don't think you can think about it because you would get carried away," he said. "We just have to keep doing what we have been doing. As long as I get myself into the box, I know the guys around us will create the chances."

Rangers tonight host an Inverness side who have been rejuvenated by the arrival of former Ibrox favourite Terry Butcher, who will be smarting from his first defeat, against Motherwell, at the weekend. And Boyd insists a win, rather than aiming for a barrowload of goals against the bottom side, is the priority.

"We need to focus on our side of the game and make sure we get the three points," he said. "At this time in the season, it's crucial to win the game.

"It's going to be difficult. Knowing Terry, his team will be organised and difficult to break down.

"It will be no different tomorrow. Even if it's 1-0, winning is the most important thing.

"We can start worrying about goals towards the end of the season, if it comes to that. At this moment in time, it's just about getting points."

Meanwhile, Boyd has welcomed the introduction of strict new drug-testing rules, which are set to commence at the start of next season.

The procedures, drawn up by the World Anti-Doping Agency and endorsed by Fifa and the government, require sportsmen to provide details of their whereabouts for an hour every day. He said: "When you see the amount of people who have failed drug tests, it can only be good for the sport."