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Old Firm derby turns spotlight on Steven Gerrard’s first Rangers season | Ewan Murray

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It is difficult to place a more irrelevant Old Firm game – Rangers will be second in the Scottish Premiership and Celtic are the champions regardless of Sunday’s derby outcome – but so much of the Glasgow story is viewed through the prism of a single fixture.

The tyro manager has established Rangers as the second-best team in Scotland but many problems remain hether the Rangers support display appreciation towards Steven Gerrard or slink off quietly at the conclusion of their Ibrox season inevitably depends on the previous 90 minutes.

Whether or not he can build on progress, as unquestionably exists, into season two will determine how well served Rangers are by Gerrard.

As Rangers confirmed the runners-up berth, he asserted that second place was “not enough”.

Yet it is the key indicator of Gerrard’s positive influence that Rangers have separated themselves as a second force.

On the plus side, the three Old Firm encounters have been decided by a single goal – with Rangers winning in December – where the previous two had seen an aggregate of 9-0 in Celtic’s favour.

Aberdeen’s dismissals of Rangers in both domestic cups were the most damaging occasions of Gerrard’s first season.
For more news relating to Celtic, visit our sister site Celtic Live.
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