'Mentality is one thing' - Alex McLeish slams Rangers side after Old Firm defeat v Celtic
By James Black
Former Rangers boss Alex McLeish has slammed the Gers’ fitness levels after the 2-0 defeat to Celtic at Ibrox on Saturday.
Two second-half goals from Tom Rogic and Leigh Griffiths split the sides as Brendan Rodgers’ men extended their lead at the top of the Scottish Premiership over their bitter rivals to eight points.
The 58-year-old knows all about poor Old Firm performances having presided over the Light Blues’ worst run of results against Celtic in history when he lost seven consecutive games against them.
McLeish believes Pedro Caixinha’s side were tired once Celtic doubled their lead and it allowed the Bhoys more space to control the game.
“When the second goal went in, I felt that Rangers didn’t have the legs of Celtic,” McLeish told BBC Sportsound, as quoted by the Daily Record website.
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“Okay, it hit the mentality big time in the fact that they lost a goal but I felt that there was a wee lack of stamina in trying to match Celtic after that because Celtic seemed to get much more space after the goal.
“When you lose a goal, mentality is one thing but when they don’t look fit enough that’s another.”
McLeish was Rangers manager between 2001 and 2006 and helped the Gers to two league titles, two Scottish Cups and a hat-trick of League Cups as well as being the first man to take a Scottish side to the last sixteen of the Champions League since it’s re-organisation in 1993.
He was also Rangers manager for one of the club’s most famous league wins when Scott McDonald’s late double for Motherwell against Celtic on the final day of the 2003/04 season caused the helicopter to famously change direction as the Gers secured the league flag.
The former Scotland boss was interviewed about a return to Ibrox in February before the club appointed Pedro Caixinha to replace Mark Warburton.
In other Rangers news, Barjonas has admitted he feels for this Light Blues defender after their Old Firm defeat.