Scotland manager Gordon Strachan insists his former club Celtic must treat Glasgow rivals Rangers as genuine title contenders this season.
Strachan, who became the first man to lead the Parkhead club to three straight league wins since Jock Stein after taking over from Martin O’Neill in 2005, has been impressed with how Steven Gerrard has done since taking over at Ibrox.
While he admits that achieving 10-in-a-row is a big target for the Hoops, Strachan insists Celtic and Brendan Rodgers must be wary of Rangers putting a dent in their bid for eight successive Scottish titles.
“If Gerrard could bring them a cup, and give Celtic a right fright in the league this season, they’d be happy with that,” Strachan said.
“I think Celtic have to take Rangers seriously. They have to look at them as serious rivals. There’ll be a right real challenge in the league this season.
“Which can only be good for Scottish football generally. I think it could be a blessing in disguise for Celtic and Brendan Rodgers.”
Rangers landed nine successive league titles in the 1990s and, according to Strachan, Gerrard need only look at the revere in which Wim Jansen is held by Celtic fans to get an idea of what it might mean to ‘stop the 10’.
“What would success look like for Rangers this season? You’ve got to remember their fans want everything. But the biggest thing right now is 10-in-a-row,” he added.
“No matter what anybody says, that’s in the background. It’d be the Holy Grail for Celtic fans, and basically hell for Rangers supporters.
“Wim Jansen stopped Rangers getting 10 in a row in the 90s and he’s held in such high esteem as a result. The players that played in his team are held up just below the Lisbon Lions.
“So if Gerrard can do the same to Celtic, his tenure there would be an unqualified success.”
Celtic are 1.15 to retain the Scottish Premiership title this season, with Rangers 6.00 to halt them.