By Daniel Feliciano

22nd Apr, 2022 | 3:10pm

Barry Ferguson questions Celtic title 'bottle', backs Rangers to pile pressure on

Former Rangers captain Barry Ferguson has questioned if Celtic have the ‘bottle’ to hold off a late title charge after defeat in the Scottish Cup last weekend.

Rangers beat their fierce rivals after extra-time to reach the Scottish Cup final, handing Celtic their first domestic defeat in seven months in the process.

Now Ferguson, writing in his Daily Record column, has questioned whether the current league leaders will be able to cope with the added pressure of Rangers playing first this weekend and potentially closing the gap.

“Yes, I realise the title is a long shot with only five games to go,” he said.

“But, after tasting defeat for the first time in almost seven months on Sunday, Celtic are now facing some very different questions as they head up the road to Ross County this weekend.

“How do they recover from such a crushing disappointment? Have they really got the bottle for this battle or not?

“Rangers can’t look any further than Fir Park on Saturday. They need to win that one then sit back and see if Celtic can handle it.

“Who knows? Sunday might have taken more out of them than even they realise. There could even be an element of self doubt creeping into their own minds. Are they getting tired? Are they running out of gas?

“We’ll only find out the answers when that whistle goes on Sunday afternoon. But it could be about to get very interesting.”

Game on

There are just five games to play in the league season, so overhauling a six-point disadvantage will seem nigh on impossible to many.

But that win in the Cup last week will have given the squad and fans new belief that it’s possible and thrust fresh doubt into the minds of the Celtic squad.

The two sides will meet once more, at Parkhead, next month to give Rangers the chance to half the gap, but there is opportunity for Celtic to feel the pressure before then and Rangers must be ready to take advantage.

They have the chance in their re-arranged fixture on Saturday against Motherwell to cut the gap early before Celtic play on Sunday, and it’ll be a real test of character for Ange Postecoglu’s side.

Outside factors are now putting extra pressure on too, but if Van Bronckhorst’s side aren’t there to make the most of any slip up then it’s pointless so they must do their own job first.

In other Rangers news, Barry Ferguson has tipped one ‘colossus’ Rangers ace for a U-turn after major developments in last week