Craig Gordon insists Celtic’s first Old Firm defeat under Brendan Rodgers does not signal a shift in the balance of power towards Rangers in the Scottish Premiership.
The Celtic goalkeeper has admitted the champions face a stronger challenge this season as they look to win an eighth consecutive league title for the club.
But Gordon believes the odds are still stacked in Celtic’s favour despite the 1-0 loss at Ibrox on Saturday in which Rangers drew level on points with them at the top of the table.
Celtic still lead the way on goal difference with a game in hand on their rivals going into the winter break and Gordon is confident of significant and sustained improvement from Rodgers’ squad when they return to action.
“It’s only one win for Rangers in 13 games against us [under Rodgers],” said Gordon. “It’s still very heavily in our favour. It’s just one game that we haven’t managed to win. We will stay calm, pick the bones out of it and come back stronger.
“I think there are a lot of teams who are stronger this season. If you look at the top eight in the league, there’s not a great deal between them and away games are particularly difficult against those teams who are all fighting to be at the top end of the league.
“It’s a good league but we will look to improve over the winter break and come back stronger. Does the defeat give us a jolt? Well, if it does, then there is no better time to go away and work hard. That’s what we have done every year for this manager – we have gone away in the winter break, worked hard and come back stronger in the second part of the season. That’s what we have to do again.”
Rodgers will look to make additions to his squad during the January transfer window but Gordon feels Celtic already have enough resources to produce a dominant second half of the campaign.
“It’s up to the manager,” he added. “If we add one or two players in January, then great. If not, we still have a great amount of quality in this squad to come back.
“As the games get fewer and the recovery time in between them gets longer in the second half of the season, the stronger the team will become.
“Personally, I will just look to work hard over this three-week break and come back stronger. But I’m sure the manager will be looking at things.”