GORDON Strachan yesterday insisted Rangers has proved “too big” for many of Steven Gerrard’s signings and that his old club Celtic remained two years ahead of their city rivals.

The former Celtic manager chose his column with a bookmaker to pick apart the problems, in his view, which exists at Ibrox – namely that the dressing room is full of players who can’t handle the pressure and intensity which comes with being at Rangers.

Gerrard admitted on Sunday, following his side’s disappointing draw with struggling Dundee, that he now knew which players he could and couldn’t trust and that he wouldn’t risk making as many changes (six) as he did at Dens Park.

The Rangers manager’s summer transfers, so far, have been hit and miss, which did not comes as a surprise to Strachan who knows from his four years in Glasgow what it takes to survive what is a unique situation in the football world.

The ex-Scotland manager said: “A lot of Rangers signings have come from non-competitive games in the reserves, or at teams that haven’t had to compete, never a team like Rangers. So it comes as a shock when you arrive in Glasgow.

“It takes a while to get used to this 24-hour demand for success, where you have to win everything. The first few months are difficult, that’s why it’s handy to have players who have been there a while – at Celtic, it was useful having players to indoctrinate the new boys in what it meant to play in an Old Firm.

“And that’s where the disciplinary issues have come from. It’s people not understanding, being thrown into Rangers from a small league or under-23 level, and taking on the expectation of winning every game. It’s too much for them and they become too emotional.

“So if the game’s running away from them, they’re so desperate to win that they cannot keep their emotions in check. The club, at the moment, is maybe too big for them to understand.

“If you’ve got 50,000 people screaming that you win every tackle, you go in there jumping about and shouting your head off, you get sent off.

“For some, petulance is a problem. If you look at Alfredo Morelos’s record at Helsinki, did he keep getting sent off there? No. It’s the fact he’s playing for Rangers, and it’s testing his mental strength, on and off the pitch.

“It’s a real shock to people to go there, and maybe it’s too much for him. And he’s letting his team down. The fans might cheer him off, and the manager might support him publicly, but he’s knackering the team, and risking the result.

Speaking to Paddy Power, Strachan expressed his delight at the current situation at the top of the Premiership. Celtic are top but a clutch of teams are close behind the club with which he with three league titles as manager.

The 61-year-old, however, believes Brendan Rodgers holds a huge advantage over Gerrard, his captain at Liverpool, and will do for some time to come.

Strachan said: “It’s great to have a title race in Scotland – Rangers could win the title, but I don’t think they will.

“Celtic are still by far the best squad, who’ve been together a long time and know what’s needed, with individual players who can win games.

“Celtic are at least two years ahead of Rangers just now. But I’m sure Steven and Gary (McAllister) will bring them closer and closer – as long as it’s not too close, that’s alright with me.”