Johan Mjallby has told Sky Sports that he believes that Rangers are going to challenge Celtic for the Scottish Premiership title this season, and insisted that it is good for both clubs that it is competitive.
The two Old Firm sides have already started to pull away from the chasing pack in the league. Rangers have won four of their opening five games.
Their only defeat, of course, came against Celtic, who boast a perfect record so far. With Neil Lennon’s men winning comfortably at Ibrox, some will be tempted to write off the Gers’s title hopes already.
But former Celtic defender and assistant boss Mjallby insisted that the Hoops cannot afford to be complacent as the gap between the two clubs is closing and a race is on the cards this year.
“The questions about who is going to win the league will improve both clubs because they cannot sit on the fence, they have to be really good in recruitment as well,” he told Sky Sports.
“I have always seen Celtic as the favourites because they have this winning habit, the culture is there, they are a fearsome team in Scotland.
“We know that this is the first time Rangers are proper challengers to go all the way and really, really compete.”
Rangers would have been incredibly disappointed with their performance against the Bhoys before the international break. The Light Blues appeared to do a lot of good work in the summer and had boasted a good Old Firm record under Steven Gerrard.
And given Celtic’s current form in the league, it appears to have already become imperative that Rangers respond with a brilliant run. It would be a big psychological blow for the gap to widen further.
But Mjallby appears to be confident that Rangers will respond and is clearly wary of Celtic taking their current lead for granted.