FORMER Rangers skipper and assistant boss Davie Weir admits his old club have a genuine fear of Celtic winning 10 successive titles.
The Hoops are aiming for eight in a row in this campaign and moved to within a point of Hearts with their 5-0 mauling of the Tynecastle side at the weekend – plus Brendan Rodgers’ men have a game in hand.
Weir captained the Ibrox outfit to their last Premiership crown in 2011 and the Parkhead club have been kings ever since.
The 48-year-old former Scotland defender said: “The fear of 10 won’t go away and that is the nature of the beast. Everyone knows that is in the back of every Rangers fans’ mind and that is the worst-case scenario.
“They would sacrifice everything else for that to be stopped. The fans don’t want to close the gap on Celtic – they want to get past them.
“Closing the gap isn’t good enough. People can talk about six points, nine points, or 30 points, it is still a gap. Until you overcome the gap, the fans won’t be happy.
“Rangers need investment to consistently improve their team. Celtic have done that for years, maybe not this year, but over the four or five years they have spent money on their team.
“They have spent money wisely in terms of bringing players in, developing them and the then selling them for a big profit. Rangers recently haven’t really done that.”
CELTS JOY, GERS GLOOM…Moussa Dembele scores the Betfred League Cup semi-final winner against Rangers in 2016 with keeper Matt Gilks and defender Rob Kiernan helpless. Pic: Geo.
Weir added: “Walter Smith used to say you were two or three games away from a disaster, so if you have two or three bad results, regardless if it’s European or domestic, then there are rumblings.
“That’s the nature of playing for Rangers and there’s no way of avoiding that. You either deal with it or you’re fighting a losing battle.”
Weir was assistant manager to Mark Warburton when the Gers beat Ronny Deila’s Celts 5-4 on penalty-kicks in the Scottish Cup semi-final in April 2016 following a 2-2 stalemate after extra-time.
However, they blew their chance of silverware success when they lost 3-2 to Hibs in the Final.
And Weir was also beside the Englishman when Rodgers celebrated his first Glasgow derby with a resounding 5-1 win the following September.
A 1-0 loss in the Betfred League Cup semi-final in October put pressure on Weir and Warburton and that wasn’t eased when Scott Sinclair scored a late winner in the Hoops’ 2-1 success on Hogmanay at Ibrox.
Both of the gaffers left the club before caretaker Graeme Murty helped the team to a 1-1 draw in March 2017.
Celtic claimed their seventh consecutive championship at the end of the campaign on 106 points with Gers third an amazing THIRTY-NINE points adrift.
Steven Gerrard’s team are already four away from the champions and lost the opening derby of the season when Olivier Ntcham scored the only goal of the game in September.