Mark Hateley has praised the identity that Ange Postecoglou has put on Celtic, admitting that there is a gulf ‘plain and simple’ with their city rivals in second place.
Michael Beale’s appointment at Ibrox has been followed by praise from a variety of parties but Hately brought some realism to the discussion on BBC Scotland’s Sportsound show.
Three points or a six point margin might be marginal with 23 matches left to play but a nine point gap bolstered by a plus 17 goal difference cushion paints a very different picture.
Stretching things back to the start of 2022 Celtic turned a six point deficit into a four point winning margin when they claimed the title with Beale facing four SPFL fixtures before he can move into the transfer market.
Postecoglou was dismissive of the suggestion that he should be worrying about changes across the city with Hateley agreeing that the Australian is firmly in the driving seat.
Listening to his appearance on Sportsound, Glasgow Live reports the former England striker saying:
It’s clear to see the gulf between the two teams. That is plain and simple. There’s a step to go up but you would expect the kind of stuff that’s been said by Michael Beale. But Ange is right, you concentrate on what you’re doing.
If you are doing your job right and your team are playing how you want, there’s no complaint. You don’t look over there. You can only influence what you do on the training pitch and whenever you’re playing. Ange has done that very well.
He has his players believing on what they’re doing and they have a terrific identity. It’s completely diverse to what Rangers have right now. Now Michael Beale has come in and been tasked with giving the club on the pitch an identity.
There are four rounds of SPFL Premiership fixtures before Celtic visit Ibrox on January 2 for the second derby of the season.