Neil Lennon rubbishes Graeme Souness Celtic Rangers claim and explains why gap 'only going to get bigger'

Neil Lennon has rubbished Graeme Souness' claim
Neil Lennon has rubbished Graeme Souness' claim -Credit:PA

Neil Lennon has batted away Graeme Souness' suggestion there is not a gulf in quality between Celtic and Rangers.

Despite the Hoops remaining unbeaten against their rivals this season on their way to winning the title, Gers hero Souness doesn't believe there is a lot between the teams. He recently claimed that the closeness of the derby fixtures and the fact Celts were only six points ahead (at that point) displayed that.

On the day, talkSPORT presenter Jim White and pundit Simon Jordan disagreed with him and it made for a heated debate. Lennon has now taken the side of that pair as he answered whether his old time were "a level above." He feels they've been comfortable in their victories and also saw it as inevitable they would move away in the title race.

Appearing on talkSPORT after his Rapid Bucharest appointment, he said: "I would agree (Celtic are a level above Rangers). I think the gap is going to get bigger now with Celtic getting into the Champions League. I watched the games, and every game Celtic have gone ahead and, more or less been pretty comfortable in the games.

"Rangers are the ones who have got questions to answer, style of play, recruitment side of things, they ran Celtic close for a while but you always got the impression, eventually, the extra quality Celtic have would count. The form the last couple of months has been the difference between the two teams."

Ahead of this Saturday's Scottish Cup final, the Northern Irishman reckons Rangers need to stifle Celtic's quality in midfield if they are to stand any chance.

"I have watched Rangers a lot this season," he added. "I don't want to jump on the critical bandwagon because he (Clement) had a big job on his hands. To be fair, Clement will have the summer to put his own stamp on the team.

"He's done really well with the group of players he inherited. They have sort of faded away in the last couple of months, whether that be a mentality thing or just lack of genuine quality. Celtic have had more matchwinners in their team than Rangers did.

"It's massive for him, they don't want to finish the season on another defeat to Celtic. The odds are against him, he's going to have to find a way to stop Celtic's quick starts. Celtic's midfield has been exceptional. I'm not sure Rangers have that quality of player. Clement needs to work out a game plan to restrict that."