By Joe Ellis

16th Sep, 2022 | 10:10am

Rangers title chances nearly over after Celtic resurgence - Mark Hateley

Rangers are up against it in both the Premiership and the Champions League after a horrid couple of weeks in terms of results on the pitch.

The 4-0 Old Firm derby hammering by Celtic was just the beginning of Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s problems with another 4-0 loss away at Ajax followed by a 3-0 defeat at home to Napoli, both in the Champions League.

Mark Hateley has been far from impressed by the Light Blues so far this season and has even gone as far as to suggest that the title race is all but over.

“The league title race could be done if Rangers slip up against Dundee United,” he said, as quoted by Football Scotland.

“Celtic have a really strong squad this season. Ange Postecoglou last season did remarkably well. It was an exceptional turnaround of players and performance in his team. And the performances have continued with a stronger squad this season.

“Rangers are chasing the league already so early into the season and I think the international break will come at the right time for Rangers, maybe not the right time for Celtic, because they’ll just want to keep pouring on the pressure. Rangers cannot afford to drop any points.

“I think what it’s all about now is enjoying the games. It’s tough to enjoy this sort of level when you’re under the pressure to win every game when you’re a Rangers player.

“This weekend’s game against Dundee United is a game massively under pressure.”

Win or sacked

Things are not complicated anymore for van Bronckhorst who simply has to start winning games to keep his job even remotely secure at Ibrox.

Rangers are a club that demands excellence at all times and while the odd defeat is expected and accepted, it has to come in the right way which hasn’t happened for two of the three recent beatings.

You could maybe give a pass for the Napoli loss with James Sands getting sent off at 0-0 a big factor in the Italian’s subsequent dominance in the game.

But Celtic and Ajax both comprehensively outsmarted van Bronckhorst’s Gers side and the scorelines proved exactly that and it simply was not good enough on any level.

Dundee United await the Bears this weekend as they make the trip to Glasgow and anything except a big win of three or more goals should not be enough to keep the Dutchman in the job for a great deal longer.

In other Rangers news, the Light Blues have avoided further punishment from UEFA after what they did before the Champions League tie against Napoli.