Ex-Celtic star claims former club will be wary of Rangers' return to top flight; says they have to improve

Celtic Stands

Celtic have disappointed their fans this season, despite winning their obligatory league title.

Ex-Celtic forward Andy Walker has told Sky Sports how he feels his former club will be wary of Rangers' return to the top flight, although he claims the Gers are still behind the Bhoys and Aberdeen in terms of quality.

Walker discussed Rangers' return to the Premiership, commenting how the increased level of competition will benefit the league as a whole.

"Celtic are now aware of the threat of Rangers coming up to the top division and the potential of a serious challenge," he said. "I think Rangers will need to rise to the challenge, they will be up against good, seasoned professionals, right now I would peg Rangers at same level as Hearts, but short of Aberdeen and Celtic.

"The level of competition will be very welcome next season, and I'm already looking forward to the prospect of it."

Celtic, and in particular, their manager Ronny Deila have received heavy criticism this season, despite winning their fifth consecutive Premiership title. Their performances in Europe and failure in the domestic cup competitions ensured Deila's job came under intense scrutiny, until it was eventually revealed he would be leaving at the end of the season.

Walker completely understands the decision, claiming that winning the title with Celtic's resources is hardly a fantastic achievement.

"To be brutally honest, every other manager in the Scottish Premiership could have won the league with Celtic, given the advantage they have in resources," he added.

The return of Rangers to the top flight will undoubtedly encourage the Celtic board to give their full financial backing to whoever takes the reigns at Celtic Park next season. 

They are now only seven behind Rangers in the all time list of Scottish league champions, and will most certainly have to improve their playing squad if they are to continue their current dominance of the Scottish Premiership.

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