McLeish looks for home comforts

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The Independent Football

For 90 minutes, at least, Roy Keane's arrival at Parkhead will not be the focus of attention this weekend. Across Glasgow, at Ibrox, Rangers play host to Hearts this afternoon in a fixture which may confirm the light blues' revival and signal the beginning of the end of the maroon renaissance.

Since the departure of George Burley, and the equally unexpected arrival of Graham Rix as his successor, Hearts have stumbled. With one win in four they are now three points behind the leaders Celtic.

Rangers, meanwhile, have qualified for the knock-out stages of the Champions' League and, last week, ended a 10-match winless streak. However, they have not won at home since October and Alex McLeish admitted: "The aim is to start winning in front of our own fans and catch the teams above us."

He added of Hearts: "Teams can have a wee hiatus, but they are still a very dangerous team."

Rix was equally complimentary about McLeish. He said: "Alex has been under pressure the last few weeks and I think he's handled it with great dignity. I have a lot of respect for him but I still want to beat him."

McLeish, inevitably, was drawn into the Keane debate. Describing Keane as "one of the best players ever" he added of his own transfer policy: "We've got to do what we think is best for us, not just react to a signing somewhere else.

"Will we sign a big-name player? Only if he is definitely going to make a difference. I know what I would like to do; whether I can do it is another matter."

Celtic are at Inverness tomorrow, a match for which Keane is not eligible.

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