Celtic striker Leigh Griffiths has fired a title warning in the direction of Rangers after the Hoops’ Scottish Cup victory.
Speaking after the game, as quoted by the Daily Record, Griffiths says Neil Lennon’s team are hoping that three wins from their three games in hand could rejuvenate their title charge: “Our job is to go and win these games between now and the end of the month and that sets us up nicely for the big one [against Rangers] in January.
“The league campaign is a marathon, not a sprint. Of course we can win the league. We do that by staying focused on every game and taking maximum points. That starts on Wednesday night against Ross County.”
Celtic face a run of three games in eight days before travelling to Ibrox for the Old Firm derby at the beginning of January.
Rangers now hold a 16-point lead at the top of the Premiership after their win against Motherwell on Saturday.
January’s Derby is quite simply a must-win for the Hoops against an in-form Rangers side.
Too little too late for Celtic?
If Celtic are looking to compete and challenge the Gers this season, as Griffiths says they are, they will need to improve their league form quickly – something they have shown no sign of doing.
Lennon’s men have not recorded back-to-back victories in the Premiership since the beginning of October.
Compare that to the consistent form of Rangers and you can see how such a gap between the two teams has emerged.
The Gers are yet to lose in the Premiership this season and have drawn just to two games domestically.
Defensively, Rangers have also set the benchmark this season. Across their last five games across all competitions, Celtic have conceded 10 goals – Gerrard’s side have conceded half of that.
Ex-Liverpool man Jamie Carragher recently claimed that the title was ‘done’ and while Gerrard has played it down, it is clear that Celtic must drastically improve if they want to even challenge the Gers during the second half of the season.