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4th May, 2017 | 12:02pm

Derek Johnstone delivers no-holds-barred verdict on Rangers players after Celtic defeat

By Harvey Byrne

Rangers great Derek Johnstone has torn into the current players after their devastating 5-1 defeat against fierce rivals Celtic last Saturday.

The two Glasgow clubs met at Ibrox for their sixth Old Firm clash of the season and the Hoops ran out a resounding win to mark their fifth against Rangers in this single campaign.

It is a defeat which has left Pedro Caixinha’s side down in third place and 36 points off top with four matches left and it is set to be a miserable first season back in the Premiership for one of Scotland’s biggest clubs.

A lot of senior men such as Mark Warburton, Frank McParland and Dave King have received criticism over the campaign for the wretched season and now Johnstone has targeted the players, claiming they “have let themselves down time and time and time again”, while also stating it was the worst they had played ad there’s no excuses.

“Second was the minimum expectation for Rangers this season so they can’t afford to end up fourth. These players have let themselves down time and time and time again and the manager will probably have made up his mind on 90 per cent of the squad,” wrote Johnstone in his column for the Evening Times.

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“When he was questioned after the final whistle, he didn’t look for excuses. He said ‘I am here, I’m the manager, I take responsibility’. He is not shirking anything.

“He is just in the door and this is not his squad but he knows the last two games haven’t been good enough. I think he should get a bit of slack and if anyone is getting stick then the players deserve it more than Pedro does.

“It was the worst we have played this season and there are no excuses for that performance. At Ibrox, in front of our own fans, we got absolutely battered.

“That showed how big the gap is between Rangers and Celtic and what needs to be done going forward. As a few people have said, it was 5-1 but it could have been a lot more.”

Rangers won the Scottish Championship with ease last season as they won 25, drew six and lost just five of their 36 league games.

However, many of the stars of the last campaign have struggled with the step up and while Warburton brought in 11 senior players last summer many have failed to make an impact.

In other Rangers news, Josh Windass has given his verdict on this Gers 23-year-old.

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