Rangers manager Mark Warburton insists there are no cracks in his relationship with Hibernian counterpart Alan Stubbs.
The men in charge of the Championship’s two leading clubs have engaged in a tetchy war of words since Warburton took up his post in the summer.
First there was the spat over Rangers’ attempts to sign Scott Allan. Then Stubbs attempted to turn up the heat on the table-toppers since inflicting the Ibrox side’s first league defeat under Warburton’s reign earlier this month by claiming a budget four times the size of their rivals means the Glasgow giants should be out in front.
But Stubbs this week appeared to play down the simmering row by saying: “We’re in an entertainment business. We have to make things entertaining.”
And Warburton, whose side take a two-point lead and a game in hand into today’s trip to Livingston – agreed there was no feud. “It’s just tongue in cheek,” said the Englishman. “There’s no problems with Alan. We shared a drink after the last game with the staff. We talked about the game and got on well.
“It’s the media. It’s about rivalry. It’s about making headlines and getting excitement, and that’s great. It’s a competitive world we work in. But we respect all these teams. There are no easy games in this league, that’s for sure.”
But Warburton was keen to stress he remains comfortable with his side’s position despite seeing his record-breaking start ended by the 2-1 defeat at Easter Road. Asked how concerned he was, he smiled: “You can tell by the worried look on my face at the moment. We have a game in hand and, if we win that, we are five points clear.”
He added: “Someone asked me about the game against Hibs on 28 December. That’s irrelevant. If we lose two or three games in the meantime then it doesn’t matter. We’re geared towards Livingston, a good performance and we’ll move on from there.”