Rangers deserve Celtic Park guard of honour says ex-Parkhead defender

Former Celtic defender John Hughes says SPFL Premiership champions Rangers deserve a guard of honour from Celtic in their next league match.

After clinching the title at the weekend Steven Gerrard’s side have a Europa League double header to contend with before their next league fixture – the Old Firm match on March 21.

Hughes believes Celtic should “take their medicine” and applaud their rivals onto the park – then use it as motivation to inflict Rangers’ first league defeat of the season.

Sign up to our Football newsletter

Sign up to our Football newsletter

The Ross County boss has steered the Staggies out of the relegation places since assuming the reins at Dingwall in December, and says Rangers deserve the plaudits. The former Celtic, Hibs and Falkirk defender believes there have been too many distractions affecting his old club’s season.

Speaking to BBC Scotland, he said: “There should be a guard of honour – it’s an unwritten rule. The next team that’s taking them out you give them the guard of honour and take your medicine – take it on the chin.

“Rangers have been outstanding from the start - there's been no noise out of Ibrox about the Covid stuff – the house was in order.

“There was too much noise coming out of Celtic from not signing the goalkeeper to the fitness of [Leigh] Griffiths. Now the challenge is on Celtic and it’s a challenge to go and regain the title.

Ross County manager John Hughes. (Photo by Craig Williamson / SNS Group)

"It's a great rivalry but in sport you sometimes have to stand back, tip your hat and say well done, you’ve raised the bar, guard of honour – then go and beat them.”

Get a year of unlimited access to all The Scotsman's sport coverage without the need for a full subscription. Expert analysis of the biggest games, exclusive interviews, live blogs, transfer news and 70 per cent fewer ads on Scotsman.com - all for less than £1 a week. Subscribe to us today