GRAEME Murty, who oversaw a 1-1 draw with Celtic in his final game as Rangers caretaker manager yesterday, last night insisted the Ibrox club should go into the William Hill Scottish Cup semi-final against their city rivals next month confident of triumphing.

A Clint Hill goal with just over two minutes remaining cancelled out Stuart Armstrong’s first half opener and earned Murty’s men a deserved point in a fiercely-contested Ladbrokes Premiership match at Parkhead yesterday.

Celtic’s players and supporters were incensed when referee Bobby Madden failed to award them a penalty kick in stoppage time after Leigh Griffiths went down in the Rangers area following a challenge by Hill.

However, Murty - who will hand over first team responsibilities to new Rangers manager Pedro Caixinha, who watched the game from the main stand at Celtic Park, today and return to his role with the under-20 side – believes they can be proud of their overall display away from home.

Asked how much self-belief the 1-1 draw will give the Rangers players, the former Scotland internationalist said: “It should give them loads. They stood up to the challenge of a very, very good team that moves the ball very well.

“They didn’t get rattled and they didn’t lose their discipline. They ensured that when we had an opportunity we actually got at them a little bit. We didn’t do it always the way I’d have liked. But they continued to actually cause problems.

“So I think the next game and in the game after that, this group knows that if they stick together and believe in themselves they can go and get positive outcomes."

Murty added: “We actually made it a proper game. We made it difficult for Celtic and the players executed certain things really well. More than that, they put a shift in. They made it hard for Celtic and that’s something that’s been levelled at them recently.

“It’s been said they’re not hard to play against, that they’re weak. I also heard the word timid. But I didn’t see that today. I’m incredibly proud of the players because of all those things said about them. They out that right today.

“I'm pleased for the players. I thought the players showed a degree of tenacity and grit they've been questioned about. But they stood up in a difficult environment and managed to get something from the game. Without two stunning saves from Craig Gordon they could have had more.”

Murty, who only joined Rangers last year, believes Caixinha, the 46-year-old Portuguese coach who signed a three year contract at Ibrox on Saturday, will have been buoyed by what he witnessed at Parkhead.

“I think he saw the players deal with what is an unbelievable atmosphere,” he said. “It took a real man's performance to go and play in that stand up against a very good team and get something from the game. I challenged them all the way through the week.

"They were the only people who believed in us. The only people who said we could do anything. That belief can't be shaken by anything that happens and right until the end they continued to show that and I'm very proud of that aspect.'

“He (Caixinha) didn’t speak to me or the players, he let the players concentrate on the game. From the moment I saw them at breakfast this morning I knew they were right where they needed to be.

“We are in on Monday, we have a staff meeting. The players are going to be off so the coaches can meet the new manager. We’ll just go at his request and see what he wants to do. If he asks my opinion I’ll give it openly and candidly and we’ll see what happens from there.”

Murty, the former Reading and Southampton full-back, admitted his side had been fortunate not to concede a late penalty. Asked if the match official should have given Celtic a spot kick, he said: “Possibly. Rangers TV tell me it was an outstanding tackle. But they are bound to say that. To be perfectly honest you get them or don't get them.

“Things happen in the game and we've had some hard knocks. Celtic will no doubt say it should have been. But I will just enjoy the moment if that's okay.

“I’ve just said to the players I am incredibly proud of the way they worked and accepted me. In a calmer moment when I'm not rushing around I can reflect upon and use this because we have a good group of players at Rangers.

“I would like to see them progress and my challenge now is to make sure they are ready for that step. This experience will only make me better for them.”

Murty gave the Rangers directors a thumbs up as he went up the tunnel after the game. “That was to the board, a little thank-you from me,” he said. “They gave me the honour and opportunity to stand on the sidelines at an Old Firm game and I’m incredibly proud of that, and thankful to them.”