RANGERS’ legendary goalkeeper Peter McCloy is urging the Ibrox side to do more to stop Celtic winning 10 titles in a row and believes the gap between the sides in greater now than when Celtic had the best team in Europe.
The former Scotland international was at the club when Jock Stein led his all-conquering Hoops to nine successive top-flight championships. He was also in the Rangers goals at Parkhead on a Monday night in May 1979 when Celtic, down to ten men after Johnny Doyle had been sent off, came back from 1-0 to win the match 4-2 and take the Championship – and a treble – from Rangers.
So he knows all about the hurt caused in Rangers ranks when Celtic triumph in Scottish football.
Yesterday McCloy insisted he and his ‘Gers team-mates made the Parkhead men fight all the way for their successes – and he wants Mark Warburton’s outfit to do the same.
Rangers travel to face Ross County at Dingwall on Sunday – 24 hours after Brendan Rodgers’ team play Inverness Caley Thistle at Celtic Park. They could go into their meeting with the Highlanders twelve points adrift of the champions.
And after Celtic’s recent midweek visit to Dingwall where they recorded a rather flattering 4-0 win, Brendan Rodgers stated that Ross County were the best side Celtic had faced in the league this season. It took 3 very late goals to give Celtic such an emphatic victory and after scoring an opener in the opening few minutes, Ross County pressed hard for an equaliser for most of the game.
The 69-year-old Rangers legend said: “When I came to Rangers from Motherwell, they hadn’t won a trophy for five seasons.
“Celtic had a great team, but we often ran them close during that nine-in-a-row spell – the gap wasn’t the same as it is now. The title race often went down to the last day or the last few weeks.
“When it came to Old Firm games, we’d often beat them at Ibrox and, in 1973, when they won their eighth title, we were just a point behind them.
“Rangers equalled Celtic’s nine-in-a-row when people said it could never be done again but, if Celtic win 10 or more in a row now, that will surely never be repeated.
“They’ll have made it six by the end of this season, so money will have to be spent to bring in the quality that’s needed so they can make a proper challenge.
“Rangers need to challenge in order to give the fans some hope, but where that money will come from I don’t know.
“Stopping the treble this season is big, but it’s more important to move them closer to where Celtic are now because there is a gulf.
“Celtic haven’t had to work for their last few titles and we need to push them more. I still believe Rangers will finish second. Hearts and Aberdeen are mouthing off, but I don’t see them being a threat.
“Winning the League Cup would have been a big thing and you’d have taken a fluke result against Celtic in the semi-final just to get through.
“That makes the Scottish Cup the big one this season, most definitely.
“Apart from anything else, if Rangers can win it this season it will mean Celtic won’t have done the treble.”
Yesterday Scotzine reported on Celtic’s £40m Champions League bonanza and the worrying thing for Peter McCloy and the Rangers support, is that Brendan Rodgers sees his side as being a work in progress that we wants to take to a higher level so that they can reach the latter stages of the Champions League on a regular basis.
To do that means spending money on better players to improve the team.
That must give big Peter nightmares.