FORMER Rangers defender Clint Hill believes that a win for Graeme Murty’s side in Sunday’s Old Firm derby would make them serious contenders for the league title.

The Light Blues go into Sunday’s clash six points behind their rivals, who also have a game in hand.

But Hill, who scored a late equaliser against the Hoops in a 1-1 draw last season, believes ending their 11-match winless run over the champions would launch Rangers into the running for Premiership honours.

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"[Rangers] will go into this game full of confidence, at home, with the crowd behind them," Hill told BBC Scotland.

"If they get a win then they seriously are title contenders. They have to be judged that way.

"The last performance at Celtic was brilliant; they could have possibly nicked a win there.

"They have to get out and get that win first and foremost and then hopefully the consistency will come.”

Hill played under Murty during his first spell as interim manager last season, between the sacking of Mark Warburton and appointment of Pedro Caixinha.

He has been impressed with the steps made since the manager was handed the reins until the end of the season in the wake of Caixinha's dismissal in October.

"It's been very steady, very good progress," he said. "Everything looks to be going very well indeed at the moment.

"Obviously the big games are coming up now and these are the games that ultimately you'll be judged on at the end of the season.

“It's going in the right way, which is important. Obviously, the right result on Sunday and then it goes down to three points and it's a great, great race ahead which everybody wants in Scotland."

Debate has raged on over whether Murty should be considered for the job on a permanent basis at the end of the season and Hill believes that the former Scotland internationalist stands a good chance if he continues to mount a strong challenge.

"Results and the end-of-the-season table will dictate what the club do," he said.

"They know that they've got a great man in charge now who's found that stability, who has progressed the team to another level from last season.

"There's a lot of positives for him to take and I'm sure the club will be looking at it as well. They wouldn't have given the job to him if they didn't think he could do it.

"I'm pretty sure if he does well, challenges and gets into the [Scottish Cup] final then I'm sure he's got a great shout of getting the job.

"To judge success you need to win trophies and hopefully that's the next step for Graeme and the club."