Alastair Johnston: Celtic's march to 10-in-a-row is not inevitable

Rangers director Alastair Johnston insists Celtic reaching 10-in-a-row is not at all inevitable.

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Brendan Rodgers: Rangers instability has hurt Graeme Murty

The Hoops are one win away from their seventh successive Ladbrokes Premiership title as they sit 13 points clear of their city rivals and first have the chance to clinch it against Hibernian at Easter Road on Saturday.

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Both Rangers and Celtic have achieved nine in the past but Brendan Rodgers’ side, also on track for an unprecedented successive domestic title, currently look unstoppable in the context of Scottish football.

Alastair Johnston, left, alongside Paul Murray at the recent Celtic-Rangers Scottish Cup semi-final. Picture: SNS

The chasm between the two Glasgow giants was highlighted on Sunday when Celtic won 4-0 in their William Hill Scottish Cup semi-final clash at Hampden Park, a result which left the Ibrox fans in a state of some pessimism about the future.

However, Johnston, who joined the Rangers International Football Club board last June having been chairman of the Ibrox club between 2009 and 2011, denied the magical 10 - which Hoops fans crave - was inevitable as he addressed the concerns of the Gers supporters.

He said: “I don’t think anything is inevitable in football. I don’t think that is inevitable at all.

“If you look at football, it has its ups and downs. How do you think Manchester United fans feel now being 13 points or whatever, behind their city rivals?

Alastair Johnston, left, alongside Paul Murray at the recent Celtic-Rangers Scottish Cup semi-final. Picture: SNS

“These things are going to happen. That’s why football is so engaging, there is nothing predictable about it.

“When you can upset predictability, that is what is exciting about it and hopefully we have many more chances to do it.”

Pressure has mounted on the Rangers board since the chastening defeat by Celtic who extended their unbeaten run against the Light Blues since Rodgers took over as Hoops boss in 2016 to 10 games.

Serious questions are also being asked about Graeme Murty who in December, during his second spell as caretaker boss, was given the post until the end of the season.

To add to Rangers’ post-Hampden woes, club captain Lee Wallace and veteran striker Kenny Miller were suspended pending an investigation into claims of a heated exchange with the former under-20s boss in the dressing room after the game.

Johnston insists the decision on Murty’s future will be made free from emotion and not influenced by any one game.

He said: “The board is engaging on a regular basis. I am not going to be specific with respect to when a decision is going to be made but obviously given the fact that the end of the season is looming, that was the target date.

“Any time from now forward would fit within that parameter.”