Former Celtic striker John Hartson believes that Steven Gerrard’s appointment has justifiably excited the Rangers support, but has warned that they remain “a million miles” away from catching Brendan Rodgers’ side.

Hartson, who is in the frame for the vacant Livingston post, has also maintained that the decision to give Gerrard the job despite his lack of managerial experiencer has to be applauded as he lamented the wave experienced bosses who have milked the circuit, particularly in England.

“If he was to beat Celtic once and get close, finish second, he will learn tactically,” said Hartson. “There is pressure of managing in Glasgow. He’s brave, he wants to take that on, he wants the challenge. And he is a class act.

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“Stevie Gerrard coming to your club is a good appointment, although he has not had much experience. But the only way you get good experience is by going in.

“There is no guarantee with experience. Look at the clubs who appointed experience over the years who fell flat on their face.

“Frank Lampard is fresh, young with new ideas. Everybody is sick of the [Sam] Allardyces and [Alan] Pardews and Peter Reids - it used to be Brian Robson and Micky Adams and these guys. They get four or five different jobs, get sacked then go to another job.

“Ian Dowie has been sacked from eight clubs. He’s made more money from getting the sack than he has made from being in employment.

“It’s ridiculous. Appoint young, fresh people who want to get in and want to learn. You see Sam Allardyce on the touchline like that....(mimics chewing gum)...’sack me if you want....’

“Do me a favour. What chairman appoints these guys?”

Rangers completed their sixth signing of the summer yesterday but Hartson anticipates the emergence of a stronger, more credible Ibrox side to stir Gerrard’s opposite number across the city.

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“I think Celtic will step up to the challenge,” said the Welshman. “Brendan will get them in and say, ‘look, last two years we’ve been up against a poor Rangers. Stevie will improve them, now is the acid test and we need to go again.

“There’s not a cat in hell’s chance that Rangers will catch Celtic as they are a million miles away on and off the park,” he said.

“If Rangers finish 10 behind Celtic it’s a success. If they can beat Celtic once and maybe win a Cup then that would be looked at as progress.

“If you look at how far behind they have been in terms of quality of player and off the park it’s huge.”

This time a year ago Pedro Caixinha was in the midst of a recruitment drive at Ibrox with similar levels of anticipation from the Rangers support. Hartson was scathing in his assessment of Caixinha’s reign but has maintained that Gerrard has more currency and credibility.

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“This time last year when Caixinha was signing all those players the fans were getting excited then as well, weren’t they?” he said. “They were thinking, ‘we’ve brought in Bruno Alves at centre-half.

“Cor, what a player he is. At 34 he looks like an old man - my dad could have played there and done better. He’s like an old man limping onto the pitch.

“He’s got great experience, yeah, but don’t sign a guy knocking on 35 to deal with Dembele and Griffiths. What chance you got?”

*‘John Hartson was donating a £20,000 cheque from his Foundation to the Glasgow Children’s Hospital Charity’s Schiehallion Appeal. The appeal has now gone through the £1million barrier.