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Austin MacPhee knows Hearts are good enough to upset Rangers

Hearts caretaker manager Austin MacPhee has urged his players to take inspiration from their own giant-killing act when they take on Rangers on Sunday.

Hearts travel to Ibrox fresh from a 3-0 defeat at Kilmarnock as they prepare to face a Rangers side who went top of their Europa League group in midweek and are seeking a fifth consecutive Ladbrokes Premiership win.

But MacPhee has reminded his players that nobody gave them any hope before they became the first Scottish team to beat Brendan Rodgers’ Celtic side.

“I’m sure every player in the changing room has played in a game that they weren’t meant to win,” he said.

“I spoke to them about when Celtic were 69 games unbeaten and it had been snowing and we hadn’t trained properly for three days and we had loads of injuries, I think Michael Smith was playing his first game at centre-back and Harry Cochrane was playing one of his first games as a 16-year-old, and we won 4-0.

“You have to be organised and you need to be on the same page going into the game but we know these things happen in football and we need to make sure we give ourselves the best chance on Sunday of this happening.

“Rangers are showing they can certainly compete in the Europa League group stages, as are Celtic, and we realise the magnitude of the task in addition to the fact that, with the competition between Rangers and Celtic, every point is a prisoner just now.

“We will need to be at our best, we will need to be clear and take advantage of the individual moments in the game but I am convinced the players will believe they can do that when they run out the tunnel at Ibrox on Sunday.”