PAUL LAMBERT says that Celtic are still the team to beat in Scotland despite the recent wobble that has seen them exit the League Cup and drop their first points of the Premiership season.

The Premiership champions kicked off the season with wins over Ross County and Aberdeen, but the Celtic players have seemed to struggle to hit their best form in the early days of Brendan Rodgers’s second reign at the club, and subsequently suffered disappointing results in defeat to Kilmarnock and in the home draw with St Johnstone.

An injury crisis on top of those dispiriting displays have left many Celtic fans concerned ahead of the visit to face Rangers at Ibrox this Sunday and sent confidence soaring across the city. But Lambert says the Ibrox fans shouldn’t be getting carried away.

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“Celtic will still be the team to beat,” Lambert said.

“Without a shadow of a doubt, they will still be the team to beat.

“I think there was always going to be a transition, and it is really early doors to make anything too much of it.

“Ok, they are maybe having a wee bit of a sticky patch – and I hate saying that, because they have only lost one cup game and drawn one league game – but you get that Glasgow clamour where you draw a game and people think it’s an absolute disaster.

“Nothing really could be further from the truth. The lads won’t be involved in all that, because the price you pay when you play for Celtic is that you don’t get time to dwell on a draw or a win or a defeat.

“Everybody knows that even when you win a trophy, you then let that go and you have to go again. So, I don’t think they will get caught up in the mayhem of the aftermath of the result at the weekend.

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“For us, in my time, it was water off a duck’s back really, and hopefully the current team have got that same kind of attitude.

“Ok, they drew a game, but it’s not a major disaster. It wasn’t what they wanted, but they have to be able to shrug it off and then go and pick up points. Then that just builds and builds.”