By Jonty Banks

23rd Feb, 2023 | 6:10pm

BBC Sportscene pundit insists Rangers treble still on cards ahead of Celtic clash

Neil McCann has admitted that Michael Beale may still have one eye on a Rangers treble this season before the showdown against Celtic in the ViaPlay Cup final on Sunday (26 February).

The Gers are set to lock horns with their Old Firm rivals at Hampden Park in a first opportunity for Beale to clinch some silverware since becoming manager at Ibrox.

Previewing the match for BBC Sportscene (Thursday, 23 February), former Gers player McCann said the crunch clash would highlight whether the Englishman’s side were on the same level as their noisy neighbours and whether an unlikely title charge could be possible.

Rangers are still currently nine points behind Ange Postecoglou’s Celtic side in the Scottish Premiership despite a run of 10 wins from 11 games under Beale.

McCann said: “I think since Michael Beale has taken over at Rangers, he has had an incredible run of results and performances. He maybe has said they haven’t been quite up to the level he thinks they are capable of, but they’ve been enough to be comparable with Celtic.

“It proves to be a brilliant game, and it will give Michael Beale an idea of where his team are at.

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“I don’t think he has ruled out the league yet, the treble is still on the go, but this is a huge cup final for different reasons for Michael Beale.”

One at a time

Although Rangers are still technically in with a chance of winning a treble, even the most optimistic fan would suggest this is an extremely long shot. Yes, the club have been in magnificent form under Beale in the past few months, but winning the league would require a huge drop-off in form from Celtic.

All Beale and his Gers side need to do is take one match at a time and start to pile the pressure back on their rivals.

This can start on Sunday with a victory at Hampden Park. If Rangers were to win the final, it could be a huge physiological player in the near future. With Beale’s side relentless in the league, the Hoops might just start to feel a little bit of pressure as the season draws to a close.

What is most important for the 42-year-old will be justifying his position in the Ibrox hot seat by winning some silverware at the first time of trying. Victory over Celtic will do his managerial credentials a world of good and set him in good stead for further success at the Glasgow club.

In other Rangers news, Alan Rough has predicted the score for the game against Celtic.