Martin O’Neill has told The Times that Celtic must stop looking at Rangers and focus on themselves in the race for 10 in a row – claiming that Neil Lennon has the better squad at his disposal when comparing the Old Firm squads.
The Hoops slipped even further behind in the Scottish Premiership title race on Sunday, nabbing a point from under Hibernian’s noses when Jack Ross’ side should really have won. Diego Laxalt scored an injury-time equaliser for Celtic.
Meanwhile, Rangers cruised to a 4-0 win over Aberdeen – a proper statement of intent given Aberdeen are probably the closest challengers to the Old Firm clubs. Rangers now sit 11 points clear, but Celtic do have two games in hand.
Even if they win those matches, though, Lennon’s men are five points behind Rangers. Struggling in Europe, Odsonne Edouard’s form and other issues have seen the pressure pile on – but O’Neill has urged Celtic to stop looking at Rangers.
“Right now they need to forget about that. Stop looking at what Rangers are doing and where Rangers are,” O’Neill said. “This is total concentration now. You get the head down and you focus and you get everyone around you focused.
“We have all heard the gossip about players wanting to go wherever. Well, they are Celtic players and right now they are in a fight for the title. On paper they are the better squad, the experienced squad who have done it before.”
TBR’s view – What needs to change at Celtic?
Edouard’s form – or lack of it – is a real concern for Celtic. Without their best players firing on all cylinders, it leaves the Hoops without a consistent source of goals. Albian Ajeti has started well, but is hardly going to fire Celtic towards 10 in a row.
Leigh Griffiths is in and out of the side and Patryk Klimala has a way to go. The Hoops need Ajeti to improve or Edouard to get back to his best – scoring goals out of nothing, laying on assists and winning games with moments of magic, like last season.
The return of Christopher Jullien will also help, but Celtic need their best player back at his best.