McLeish: We are doing well despite Celtic's lead at top

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The Independent Football

The Rangers manager, Alex McLeish, remains unconcerned about his side's progress this season, even though they trail Celtic by five points in the Scottish Premier League.

"The fact that Celtic are doing so well means somebody has got to get it in the neck," McLeish said. "But when I look at what we have done since the summer, and the losses we have had to contend with, we have actually done well. I will continue to praise the players and make sure that they keep showing the same spirit."

Rangers will be without Shota Arveladze for today's game against Dundee United. The Georgian hitman is troubled with a knee injury. Craig Moore remains on the sidelines with a hamstring strain and McLeish is still reluctant to estimate when Mikel Arteta - out with a leg injury - will be back.

The Dundee United manager, Ian McCall, has no fresh injury concerns. The defender Scott Paterson and the goalkeeper Tony Bullock, who are both nursing knee injuries, are the only two players missing.

In-form Andy McLaren, who was recently awarded a new contract, is set to continue in attack alongside Jim McIntyre.

Meanwhile, the Celtic full-back Michael Gray, who picked up a dead leg during the CIS Insurance Cup victory at Partick Thistle, should be fit for the visit to Livingston today. The Hoops' only absentee is Didier Agathe (hamstring). That means that injury doubts Alan Thompson and Stilian Petrov and a clutch of rested first-team stars join the impressive youngsters and fringe players, who did so well on Thursday, in the squad.

Livingston's caretaker manager, Davie Hay, will be without David Fernandez (torn hamstring) and David McNamee (wrist), while Lee Makel, the CIS Insurance Cup goal hero against Aberdeen on Tuesday night, is suspended.

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