By Adefunmiloye Alani

5th Sep, 2021 | 10:10am

Davie Provan: Hateley dreaming if he believes there is big gap between Rangers and Celtic

Rangers secured a narrow 1-0 victory over Celtic at Ibrox last Sunday despite missing some of their stars to a coronavirus outbreak within the squad.

Steven Gerrard, James Tavernier, Nathan Patterson, Allan McGregor and a couple of first-team stars all had to self-isolate having been identified as close contacts after their side’s visit to Ross County last month.

Nevertheless, the Light Blues still managed to get one over their bitter rivals, and Mark Hateley was quick to rub it in, insisting the Hoops struggled against a second-string Rangers side.

Celtic legend Davie Provan is having none of it, though, and has told his Bears counterpart he is not being realistic if he thinks there is a gulf between both teams.

The Sky Sports pundit wrote in his The Scottish Sun column: “My former broadcast buddy Mark Hateley believes the result gives Postecoglou a problem, saying: “I think he’ll be scratching his head and wondering what he’ll need to challenge Rangers’ A team.

“The B team was out on Sunday with so many players missing.”

“Really? Alfredo Morelos, Ryan Kent, Glen Kamara, Joe Aribo, Steven Davis, Connor Goldson, Filip Helander, Kemar Roofe and Borna Barisic are Gers’ B team?

“I know how it works when former players trade their credibility for a club tie. Celts have their own posse of cheerleaders.

“But if the Gers legend really believes there’s a big gap between the sides, he’s dreaming.”

Still pained?

Celtic reckoned having some Rangers stars missing for the Old Firm game was going to boost their chances of leaving Ibrox with a much-needed win, but their fans and legends were left disappointed by the result.

Provan would have been let down by the performance of his old side, and while he is right to claim the team that lined up is far from being a Rangers B-side, there is no doubt that Gerrard would have named a stronger side than that one had everyone been fully fit.

Having held on to every one of their stars during the summer transfer window, the Bears boast of a quality squad depth, and they were still able to name a strong side against Celtic despite the blow.

That should hand them a huge advantage in their bid to hold on to the Premiership title this term, and last Sunday’s hard-fought victory sent a clear message to others that they remain the side to beat in the land.

In other Rangers news, Bears ace details why he didn’t leave Ibrox this summer despite interests.