Former Celtic striker Andy Walker has expressed his ‘admiration’ for Rangers and is convinced the Premiership title race will go right down to the wire this season.

The Ibrox outfit overtook their Glasgow rivals at the top of the table on Sunday as they took advantage of Celtic’s shock loss at Livingston to hammer Hamilton Accies 5-0, with Jermain Defoe bagging a hat-trick.

Walker believes Steven Gerrard’s side deserve huge praise for the way they have bounced back from defeat to Celtic last month by registering four straight victories.

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And the Scotland cap, who played almost 200 games for the Hoops over two spells in the 1980s and ‘90s, reckons if Rangers can keep strikers Alfredo Morelos and Jermain Defoe fit then they could deny Celtic the ninth consecutive title they crave.

He said: “Gerrard’s right to downplay talk of a title race.

“But the supporters are talking about it every day, never mind every week, because they are desperate to see their team stop Celtic get the ninth.

“It’s a real boost for Steven Gerrard to see his team react in the way they have since losing to Celtic at Ibrox.”

Walker added to Sky Sports News: “I think you have to admire Rangers and the way they have responded after losing that game.

"Apart from the [Europa League] defeat against Young Boys, their response has been terrific.

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“They obviously would have had a big lift from Celtic losing [to Livingston] and the crowd would have been up for it, the players were up for it.

“And when you see Jermain Defoe coming in and taking the place of Alfredo Morelos, with the amount of goals they’ve scored already, as long as they steer clear of injury then Rangers have got every chance.

“From middle to front, they’re creating chances and the response since losing to Celtic has been absolutely first class.

“And, make no doubt, the title race is going all the way to the end of the season."