“…massive psychological boost”, “Rangers will win the league” – Former Scotland defender gives his verdict on title race

Pressley reckons Rangers have stolen a march on Celtic in this season’s massive Premiership battle with Sunday’s stunning 2-1 victory in the east end of Glagsow.

Former Scotland international Steven Pressley reckons Rangers’ long-awaited victory away at Parkhead was a huge psychological blow on Celtic.

The former Scotland defender won the top flight with both clubs during his sterling career which also saw Pressley captain a Hearts side that ran the Hoops close 14 years ago.

The Jambos topped the table unbeaten in October 2006 before George Burley’s sudden sacking threw a spanner in the works.

However, it was a Ne’er Day defeat to Celtic in Gorgie halfway through that chaotic season with the Jambos which Pressley highlights as the moment Hearts’ heads went in the title race.

On the flip side title messages don’t come much stronger than winning in your main rivals’ back yard.

And that’s why Pressley reckons Rangers have stolen a march on Celtic in this season’s massive Premiership battle with Sunday’s stunning 2-1 victory in the east end of Glagsow.

The former Scotland defender said:

“Sunday was a massive psychological boost for Rangers.

“I go back to Hearts in 2005/06 and we had a top of the table clash with Celtic at Tynecastle over the festive period – we were 2-0 up but lost the game 3-2 and that was a huge psychological advantage to Celtic winning at our ground.

“We could have gone to within a point of them that day at a key time of the season but Celtic kicked on and I don’t think we ever recovered.

“That’s why I think Sunday was such a huge result for Rangers.

“They are now in position but the acid test will be if they can sustain it.

“I actually think Rangers will win the league. Although they are a high pressure team they also carry a really good physical presence and that’s really important on the road in Scotland.

“They can deal with what people throw at them this season and I think they are equipped to win both ways.”

Pressley went further by backing Neil Lennon’s side to be the busier of all the Premiership side in the January transfer market although he also thinks Steven Gerrard could add a striker to his Rangers side to take the pressure off Alfredo Morelos and Jermain Defoe.

He added:

“I’m sure each club will add in January.

“But Rangers to be honest might be more keen on decreasing their squad to a more manageable size.

“They might bring in one player or maybe two. It’ll be interesting to see if they bring in another striker because there has been such a reliance on Morelos.

“It’s about winning over a sustained period if you lose a player and that might be one they are considering strengthening.

“I would imagine that Celtic will be more aggressive in this window than Rangers. But Neil Lennon is a manager that really trusts his young players and that’s refreshing. Maybe he just needs one or two more to give them a kick start.”

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Author: chris darwen