Barrie McKay: Celtic-Rangers gap isn’t as big as made out

Rangers' Barrie McKay tries to block a clearance by Celtic's Mikael Lustig. Picture: Mark Runnacles/Getty Images
Rangers' Barrie McKay tries to block a clearance by Celtic's Mikael Lustig. Picture: Mark Runnacles/Getty Images
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Barrie McKay has claimed the 19-point gap between Celtic and Rangers at the top of the Scottish Premiership table is not an accurate reflection of the difference between the teams.

Reigning champions Celtic, who are already all but assured of a sixth consecutive title, stretched the lead with their 2-1 win at Ibrox on Saturday and still have a game in hand on their Old Firm rivals.

Rangers winger McKay, pictured, admits avoiding a clean sweep of defeats against Celtic will now be a primary motivation for his side in the second half of the season. Brendan Rodgers’ team have won all three meetings so far in the current campaign – two in the league and one in the Betfred Cup semi-final – by an aggregate goals tally of 8-2.

Despite Celtic’s dominance, defiant McKay believes an improved level of performance by Rangers on Saturday offered evidence the tables can be turned. The teams are next due to meet at Celtic Park on 11 March, where Rangers were comprehensively beaten 5-1 back in September. “I don’t think [the gulf] is as big as people make out,” said McKay. “I think if we took our chances we could have given them a doing on Saturday. They took their chances in the last league game and obviously scored five. If we had taken our chances on Saturday and kept them at bay, I think we could have done the same to them.

“We just need to keep going. On another day we would have taken these chances and we would have won the game. That would have closed the points gap. We just need to keep going and playing the way we are playing.

“No [we don’t want to lose every game against Celtic this season], definitely not. Our fans turn in up numbers and go to away games in numbers. They want to see us beat them so it up to us as players to deliver that.

“We have got a great squad and a lot of great talents in the team. We proved on Saturday that we can match Celtic and if we had taken our chances, it could have been a different game.

“It is important to try and win every game for us. You are at this club to win 
every game. You can’t be happy to lose games or draw games. You go into every game wanting to win three points.”