Gordon Strachan believes that Celtic are still years ahead of their Glasgow rivals.
When the hoops lost at Ibrox in December there was excited talk of a title race with many pundits claiming that Steven Gerrard had closed the gap.
The reality was that Celtic had suffered a poor first half of the season, dropping 18 points on the road while struggling without the goals of Moussa Dembele and Leigh Griffiths.
Those issues were partly addressed during the January transfer window, despite the departure of Brendan Rodgers to Leicester Celtic have stretched 10 points clear at the top of the SPFL.
Like their manager the Ibrox players have no experience of winning titles while everyone at Celtic is geared up to producing the winning runs that secure trophies.
“Six months ago I thought Rangers were two years away from Celtic in terms of continuity, where they were as a squad and where the clubs were,” the former Scotland boss told The Sun.
“But 18 months ago I thought they were eight years away because at that time Celtic were in a better place than they are now, in my opinion.
“They had Dembele, Griffiths, Armstrong and Lustig, who I’m a big fan of but Celtic went down the way and Rangers went up the way.
“Rangers won the last derby and I thought it was closer than I’d expected it to be, but since then Celtic have organised themselves.
“I think Steven’s been unfortunate with Jamie Murphy and Graham Dorrans being injured, because if those two had been fit it would’ve added more quality to the team and some of the draws they’ve had would’ve turned into wins.
“But I think Celtic are still a couple of years ahead of them, in terms of the whole structure, recruitment, squad size, and the understanding of what’s expected of you.”
If Celtic win Sunday’s derby they will go 13 points clear at the top of the SPFL with seven matches left to play opening up the possibility of winning the title before the split.
Celtic’s two fixtures before the split are away to St Mirren followed by Livingston at home, Steven Gerrard’s side face Hearts at home and Motherwell away.