Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers has said that he feels sympathetic towards Rangers boss Graeme Murty after seeing his side thrashed by the Hoops and challenged him to come out the other side stronger.
The Bhoys were dominant from start to finish of their 4-0 win in the Scottish cup semi final at Hampden Park, as the Gers capitulated both on and off the field, Kenny Miller and Lee Wallace involved in a dressing room bust-up with the boss which saw the pair suspended from the club.
Speaking of his managerial rival, Rodgers insisted that the amount of pressure placed on the shoulders of any boss was tough to handle, let alone at a club as passionate as Rangers.
However, he issued a bold challenge to Murty to “manage the expectations” set by both those above him at Ibrox and fans, an ask which would seem to be no easy feat.
Rodgers told Sky Sports: “You are under huge pressure and expectation. I have empathy there for every manager and for Graeme in this situation.
“When you are always trying to develop an environment and a culture, dynamic culture for people to improve, the command element of it is lonely.
“You always have to think and everyone else is developing around you. But that is what you have to do as a leader.
“You have to manage the expectations of your supporters, your board and your players and look to lead that way. It is certainly not easy.”
Football Insider verdict
You can be sure that Murty will appreciate the words of wisdom from a man who outclassed him in every way at Hampden Park, but being asked to manage the expectations of Rangers fans might be a step too far. The Gers faithful just want to see success return to Ibrox and for the club to compete with Celtic once again but considering the vast gulf in finances between the two clubs right now, that just cannot be taken as a realistic aim. The board would have likely targeted second as a suitable goal and that is still achievable, while a cup final would have been a target to meet.
In other Rangers news, the fans have been lauded for their display at Hampden Park.