By support

3rd Mar, 2017 | 4:12pm

Nir Bitton: These Rangers flops prove strength of Celtic and Scottish league

By Matt Farr

Celtic midfielder Nir Bitton has hit back at criticism that the Scottish Premiership is not competitive enough.

Former Chelsea ace Jason Cundy emphatically branded the standard of Scottish football as ’embarrassing’, earlier this week, after Celtic extended their unbeaten domestic run to 33 games.

The Hoops moved an incredible 27 points clear at the top of the Scottish Premiership with their win over Inverness on Wednesday, which leaves them just seven points away from wining a sixth consecutive league title.

However, speaking to the Scottish Sun, Bitton leapt to the defence of Scottish football, insisting that Rangers flops Joey Barton and Niko Kranjcar show just how competitive the league is.

He said: “There are a lot of people who look at the Scottish table and think ‘oh ok, Celtic are the best team in Scotland and they’ve no competition in this league.

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“It’s far from being true. Players from the Premier League like Joey Barton and Niko Kranjcar came to Scotland and thought ‘yeah it’s going to be easy.’

“But no, it’s not easy. It’s a very competitive league.”

Barton and Kranjcar both signed for Rangers at the start of the season, but both struggled to make any significant impact in Scotland, albeit for different reasons.

Barton, 34, made just eight appearances before he had his contract terminated by the club; while Kranjcar has missed the majority of the campaign through injury.

Nevertheless, Bitton and Celtic are still yet to taste defeat in any of their three domestic competitions this term, a record that seems unlikely to change in the coming months.

Brendan Rodgers’ side have dropped points on just one occasion, when they were held to a 2-2 draw by Inverness in September.

Celtic are next in action against St. Mirren in the Scottish Cup quarter-final on Sunday.

In other Celtic news, find out what happened when Celtic were thrown into the Premier League on Football Manager.

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