If there's one man who knew how to emerge victorious in an Old Firm derby, it was Steven Davis.

The Northern Irishman's place in Ibrox folklore is etched until the end of time and much of that is attributed to the fact he contributed to so many wins over Celtic.

Rangers make the short trip across the city on Saturday knowing anything less than a win would render their title hopes over for another year. Philippe Clement's side are three points behind and four goals worse off than their Old Firm rivals with just three league games remaining. 

Celtic must still travel to Rugby Park before hosting St Mirren on the final day of the season while Rangers host Dundee and travel to Tynecastle a week on Saturday.

Despite trailing Brendan Rodgers' side, Davis reckons Clement's men are capable of spoiling the party and regaining top spot a month on from the thrilling 3-3 draw at Ibrox. While Rangers' form dropped off significantly in April recent wins over Hearts, St Mirren and Kilmarnock have them in respectable form travelling to Parkhead.

“Winning games breeds confidence and you have that snowball effect,” Davis said. “It’s a really tough place to go, especially with things so tight. But there is pressure on both teams, that doesn’t change.

“I do believe they have the quality to go there and get the result that’s needed. We need to show that. Performance-wise you hope it’s good, but come the final whistle the be-all and end-all is the final result.

“It’s one game at a time, I think that’s the way the manager has approached things since coming in. It’s up to the players to remain focused. It’s such a special feeling to be in that dressing room having had success and sharing in those special moments.

“Some of the boys have had that experience and it leaves you wanting more.”

Davis enjoyed his fair share of those special moments as a player and one in particular stands out.

His winning goal in the 1-0 win at Ibrox back in May 2009 saw Rangers leapfrog their arch-rivals before going on to reclaim the league title for the first time in four years under the late great Walter Smith. It’s a day the midfielder remembers fondly.

“You always know the importance of Old Firm results, even at the best of times, he acknowledged. Of course, that was a very important one in a very tightly contested game.

“I managed to get the winner and the psychology of winning that game really gave a boost to the whole team. It has an effect on the other team as well, so that was a really massive game for us.

“I remember the year we played Celtic in the League Cup final, the league again was really tight that year. We managed to win the final and that gave us the boost to go on and win the league that season.”

When Clement took over the managerial reins back in October, Rangers were seven points adrift of Celtic having lost three of their opening eight league games.

READ MORE: 'I think the future is bright' - Davis makes McCausland Rangers prediction

Despite the offer of forming part of his backroom team, Davis opted to take a step back but he was impressed by the Belgian's methods and reckons the fact the club could regain top spot by Saturday afternoon is a testament to the hard work Clement has put in.

And the UK's most-capped player believes that it's Clement's man-management that sets him apart, enabling such a change in the season's expectations from his arrival last October. 

“I only spent a short amount of time with him but I was really impressed straight away, he said.

“He translated his ideas to the players, keeping it simple. As a player, you want to know where you stand and he simplified everything.

“He brought his mentality to the team, what he expects and demands on a daily basis. You see those other touches, like what he did for me, I think that’s what a manager is all about and he’s brought all that together. I have been very impressed with him since he came in."

As someone who acquired four league titles during his two spells at Ibrox, Davis knows what it takes to cross the finish line as a champion. He would win three in a row under Smith before playing his part in the invincible season under Steven Gerrard in 2020/21. He knows there is now no margin for error if 56 is to be achieved later this month, however. Saturday is very much last chance saloon.

“It goes in different directions through the course of the season, the pendulum always swings," he said.

“There’s a lot of pressure that comes with playing for both clubs, there’s a lot of external noise.

“But you have to try and remain calm throughout the course of the season, not losing sight of what your goals are.

“There will be disappointments along the way, it’s about how you react to those disappointments. Rangers need to win all their games, we know the difficulty in doing that.

“But if you asked back at the stage when I came in if the boys would be in this position we would have taken it, 100 percent.”

The Rangers Hall of Famer called time on his playing career in January after a knee injury sustained in December 2022 forced the 39-year-old to hang up his boots. He would answer the SOS call from the Ibrox hierarchy when Michael Beale was dismissed and oversaw two contrasting results with the Europa League debacle away to Aris Limassol followed by the hard-fought win over St Mirren.

His spell in interim charge of his beloved club has made him hungry for more coaching experience. “It’s been different, but it’s been quite nice too," he said.

“It doesn’t seem that long ago that I retired. In recent times it was good to get involved with the international side and get a bit more experience.

“That might continue. Listen, it was a good opportunity there with the two friendlies and obviously the relationship I have with Michael O’Neill.

“He asked me to come in and be around things. I’m doing my badges back in Belfast and I’ve also been out to America to see Scotty Arfield too."