Rangers legend Walter Smith thinks the Gers’ recent record against Celtic could have a “bigger psychological effect” on the Light Blues’ stars with every passing defeat against their bitter rivals.
The Gers have only picked up one win over their city rivals in the last six years with a penalty shoot-out win in the 2016 Scottish Cup semi-final their only success since being kicked out of the Scottish Premiership in 2012.
The Ibrox giants face Celtic twice before the end of the season and Smith believes the Gers need to get back to winning Old Firm games regularly to mount a realistic title challenge.
“In my first time as Rangers manager, Celtic did not always finish second but the games against them were always major games in the calendar,” Smith said, as quoted by the Evening Times.
“It was always going to be case in the situation they are in of beating Celtic every now and again rather than regularly.
“But the number of matches they have struggled to do so might have a bigger psychological effect than the last defeat if you like – in recent years Mark Warburton’s win is the only they have had, on penalties.
“They have to get back to start winning games against Celtic on a more regular basis.
“In saying that they have had a change of management in mid-season and are having to bed in half a team of new players so I don’t think anything has happened this season to make Celtic too concerned about what’s happened.
“I hate to use these two words but the natural order has been that Celtic having been winning championships. To reverse that Rangers have got to get stability and an influx of a better level of player.
The Gers find themselves 10 points behind Brendan Rodgers’ side in the Scottish Premiership table after looking like they could mount a possible title challenge before the recent 3-2 Old Firm defeat at Ibrox.
With Celtic on the brink of a seventh successive title and a back-to-back treble, Gers fans will be hoping their side can end their run of terrible form against their bitter rivals sooner rather than later.
Football Insider verdict:
It’s hard to find fault with anything Smith says although despite a managerial change and bedding in half a team in January – had the Old Firm game gone a little bit differently we would likely be having a very different conversation right now. Celtic have found themselves putting in what is more like ‘average’ results this season and it has allowed the Gers to close the gap significantly from last season but the Light Blues are still dropping points to other sides in the league too and that has had a big effect on where they find themselves in the league.