Celtic fan and Liverpool left-back Andy Robertson is confident that Rangers have already won the Scottish Premiership title and admits the Reds’ ties to Steven Gerrard are making it “difficult” for him at their training ground – but says the Rangers boss has taken his side to “another level”.
Glaswegian Robertson, arguably the finest left-back in Europe, played for Celtic’s academy as a youngster but was released in 2009 at under-15 level.
Considered to be too small, the Scot – now captain of his country – went on to Queen’s Park where he spent four years before a move to Dundee United.
One season there followed a switch to Hull City which then preceded his £8million move to Anfield, having spent the last four seasons with Liverpool, winning the Champions League and the Premier League title in that time.
But throughout his career the 26-year-old, speaking to Liverpool legend Jamie Carragher for his podcast The Greatest Game, admits he has remained a Celtic supporter throughout his career.
And the Scotland skipper is confident the Hoops are set to be denied the iconic achievement of winning 10 successive top-flight titles.
Celtic have won the last nine in a row but find themselves 21 points behind Rangers at present, though they have played three games less than the Gers, who are unbeaten from 23 games, having won 21.
Liverpool icon and Carragher’s former team-mate Gerrard is in charge at Rangers and is currently in his third season at Ibrox.
And Robertson admits it isn’t easy at the Liverpool training ground, saying: “Well it’s done isn’t it – it’s in the bag (the league title). No pressure, just wrap it up now.
“Obviously it’s a difficult situation coming into Liverpool training ground where everyone loves Stevie and wants him to do well.
“I want him to do well, but I’m a Celtic fan and I’ve been brought up not to like Rangers!”
After Carragher joked that Robertson doesn’t like Gerrard the defender went on to add: “No, because I think he’ll end up here one day!
“All jokes aside he’s done an amazing job up there, he’s closed the gap. He’s taken it to a new level this season and Celtic have struggled to keep up.
“Obviously I’m hoping they can still turn it around as it’d be historic but it’s not looking too good unfortunately.”
Rangers boss Gerrard meanwhile recently declared that winning the league with the Light Blues would help him get over the fact he never did so with Liverpool, coming agonisingly close in 2014 before his infamous slip against Chelsea.
“Yes, it’s definitely a motivation,” Gerrard told The Athletic. “Having that happen and how it happened towards the end of my Liverpool career was a real, brutal low for me.
“As a group and a team and a club, it was a big disappointment because we came so close. The fact they’ve won the title since then and are current champions – which is fantastic for me to see – has certainly helped the healing.
“But from a personal point of view, having a big high as a coach and manager would certainly contribute to that healing as well.”
He added: “The next trophy will be a big deal. There have been a lot of stepping stones and progression. The statistics make for good reading if you go year-by-year, but the reality is that we’ve got to deliver silverware.
“This club is built on success. It’s a very traditional, historic club and there’s a big spotlight and responsibility to deliver trophies. Progress is not enough. Statistics are not enough. You’ve got to deliver, it’s as simple as that.
“The main aim in my first year was to try to get a bit of pride and respect back. They were suffering some heavy defeats. Players were hurt, fans were hurt.
“We got the fans smiling again, feeling a bit of belief. We showed improvements in the first year.
“In the second year, we showed we can compete and in the third year the challenge is, ‘Can we go the full distance rather than six months and fall away? Can we be there and challenge come the end of the season?’”