Kieran Tierney has backed his former club Celtic to claw back the massive 16 point gap between themselves and league leaders Rangers as the two sides get ready to face each other this weekend.

GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - MAY 19: Kieran Tierney of Celtic celebrate with the Celtic fans during the Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership match between Celtic FC and Heart of Midlothian FC at Celtic Park on May 19, 2019 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND – MAY 19: Kieran Tierney of Celtic celebrate with the Celtic fans during the Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership match between Celtic FC and Heart of Midlothian FC at Celtic Park on May 19, 2019 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

When Celtic and Rangers meet it is rarely a quiet affair but since Rangers’ financial woes began some years ago, it has been a long time since the two sides went in to an Old Firm derby with the blue side of Glasgow miles ahead of the green.

16 points separate Steven Gerrard’s side from Neil Lennon’s but Arsenal’s Kieran Tierney, who is Celtic through-and-through, is optimistic they can catch Rangers.

Speaking to BT Sports Scottish Football Extra, Tierney said: “I think he [Lennon] is the right man. One of my regrets in football is that I only got a few months to work with him, because I loved it.

“Unfortunately, I was injured for a while. But he was brilliant for me.

“He made you feel brilliant. Going out to the pitch he made you feel like you can beat anyone.

“So I think that is exactly what the players need now.

“They need confidence in themselves, they need confidence in the team – and I think he can do that.

“I think it would make it all the better [if Celtic could beat Rangers] with the position they are in, being a few points behind.

“Imagine doing that and coming back and winning it for the ten? I think that would be brilliant.

“Usually in the last two years they’re the ones at the top and they’re the ones getting chased.

Kieran Tierney (via Arsenal.com)
Kieran Tierney (via Arsenal.com)

“It’s a new challenge for some of the boys, but there are a lot of people in there who have done that before.

“They have the experience in there that they need and they have the manager that they need as well – he has been there before.

“So it is a new challenge for some, but it’s a challenge I’m sure the changing room will be relishing and in recent weeks they’ve been brilliant as well.”

Rangers have not won the Scottish Premiership since the 2010/11 season, a year before they were liquidated and had to start again at the bottom of the Scottish football pyramid.

After 21 games they sit on top of the table with 59 points and zero defeats.

Celtic, who won the SPL every season without Rangers in the division, are on 43 points but they also have three games in hand. A win at the weekend would close the gap to 13 points and victories in their games in hand would see that gap closed to just four.

Rangers vs Celtic takes place on Saturday at 12.30pm.

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Writer. Feminist. Dreamer. Gooner. Owner of DailyCannon.com, writing about Arsenal since 2008. Sometimes found in the Guardian, Vice.com & elsewhere talking queer issues, politics & football. If in doubt, assume sarcasm.