WALTER SMITH insists Rangers are heading for a crucial and challenging two-month period where they must find the answers to halt Celtic’s dominance.

The former Ibrox manager believes Brendan Rodgers’ side have established a “natural order” and the Govan outfit cannot afford any more mistakes if they are to turn around the situation.

Smith said: “The appointment of the next manager is probably one of the most important decisions the board will make.

“Whether it is Graeme (Murty) or someone else, there has to be a level of stability within the management before you can start to look at massive improvements on the pitch.

“I hate to use the two words, but the ‘natural order’ has been that Celtic have been winning championships and to reverse that Rangers must find stability and a better level of player.

“They can close the gap, it can be done. However, this period between now and the end of the season is huge in terms of what Rangers must do as they head into the following season.

“This time, Rangers have to get it right.

“If Graeme is the person they are going to give the job to, you would hope they would tell him sooner rather than later so he could start planning ahead.

“I don’t know what’s going to happen – my forte was picking teams, not managers. But I can’t take away from the importance of Rangers making the right decision.

“They can’t make the same mistake they did at the start of this campaign.”

The gamble on Portuguese Head Coach Pedro Caixinha backfired spectacularly and he was sacked in October after only 229 days in charge.

The Parkhead team are on the brink of seven successive title triumphs and are closing in on a historic double treble.

Smith added: “Celtic have everything in their favour. They have stability at their club and a terrific manager.

“It’s a hard task for everyone at Rangers, but one they’ve got to meet.

“If it can’t happen – and there are many reasons why it maybe can’t – then what’s happening at the present time will continue to happen.

“Celtic will continue to dominate and Rangers will be the team left to take up that challenge in the same way Celtic were when it was happening from a Rangers perspective.”

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About Author


Acclaimed author Alex Gordon wrote the biography of Scotland international legend Denis Law, entitled 'King and Country'. He is a former columnist with World Soccer magazine and Scottish correspondent of respected European journal L'Equipe.

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