Rangers handed Celtic 'matter of concern' warning as door left open for eye-catching Ibrox return

Ex-Rangers midfield ace has fired a warning to his former club and claimed the Ibrox door 'should always be open' one former boss

Rangers risk damaging their club’s proud history if they lose another Scottish Premiership title to Celtic, one former Ibrox favourite has warned.

Philippe Clement’s side ended the campaign eight points behind their rivals last season after a bitterly disappointing end to the campaign and former Rangers favourite Pedro Mendes has insisted the club simply “can’t afford” to let the Hoops dominate the top tier of Scottish football anymore.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“It's their mentality that’s important,” Mendes said. “To play for a team like Rangers is not enough to just be a good player. You need to have a very, very strong mentality because every game has to be a win. You can't afford to draw. No matter the pitch, no matter the opponent. Every game has to be a win. They can't afford to throw another title away.”

Off-field issues have already affected the club this summer, as Rangers will be forced to play their opening home games against Motherwell and Ross County at an alternative venue - likely to be Hampden or Murrayfield - after "a delay in a materials shipment from Asia" affected repair work in the Copland Stand at Ibrox. However, Clement has been able to implement the required major surgery on his squad, with six new signings already secured. The Belgian has also been able to offload long-serving players such as Ryan Jack, Kemar Roofe and Borna Barisic, after their contracts came to an end.

Pedro Mendes during his days at Rangers. Cr: Getty Images.Pedro Mendes during his days at Rangers. Cr: Getty Images.
Pedro Mendes during his days at Rangers. Cr: Getty Images. | Getty Images

“There are a lot of things going on at Rangers at the moment,” admitted Mendes, who won the league with the Gers in 2009. “One thing that Rangers fans are really proud of is their history and how many titles they have won, so Celtic being one away from 55 is a matter of concern. Rangers need to open up that gap again. Last year they did the most difficult thing in catching up to Celtic but then they just threw everything away in two or three games.

“Clement has been talking about their signings and keeping key players, so hopefully they settle down quickly and can win the Premiership again. It would be a massive, massive win for Rangers this season. The board and the fans are keen on Clement. There has been a really good feeling about him since the moment he signed and I think he needs to be allowed to prepare the team as he wants so he can win a title with Rangers.”

Should the Light Blues fail to wrestle the title back from Celtic next season though, the ex-Portuguese international believes the club would “open the door” to one former Gers boss in order to overthrow Celtic. “Steven Gerrard did a good job at Rangers so a return in the future is always possible,” said Mendes in an interview with Boylesports. “With the job he did in winning the title it means the door would always be open to a return later in his career.”



Want to join the conversation? Please or to comment on this article.