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Scottish Premiership: Rangers vs Celtic analysed; Are Lee Johnson and Jim Goodwin under pressure

Celtic remain nine points clear of Rangers in the Scottish Premiership after a 2-2 draw; pressure is increasing on Hibernian manager after they fell to eighth in the table; Aberdeen were booed off after they extended their winless run to five games

Former Rangers midfielder Kevin Thomson believes manager Michael Beale will already be looking to next season while Mark Wilson insists a point at Ibrox was "a decent day" for Ange Postecoglou.

The Hoops remain nine points clear at the top of the Scottish Premiership after Kyogo Furuhashi's late strike earned them a 2-2 draw after they surrendered their early lead.

While Celtic have already made three January signings, Beale has yet to bring in any players since replacing Giovanni van Bronckhorst.

It was also derby day in Edinburgh as Hearts piled more pressure on Lee Johnson as they eased to a 3-0 victory to leave Hibs eighth in the Scottish Premiership with one win in their last six games.

And what next for Jim Goodwin at Aberdeen after their winless run extended to five games after a goalless draw with Ross County?

We asked Thomson and Wilson to assess the second Old Firm clash of the season and if Johnson and Goodwin will be given time to turn their club's fortunes around...

Celtic's lead is 'difficult to bridge'

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Kevin Thomson believes former club Rangers will take confidence from their draw with Celtic, but admits it will be very difficult to catch the league leaders

Thomson believes Rangers will take confidence from their draw with Celtic, but he believes there remains a gulf in quality between the sides.

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"The hard part for Rangers is that Celtic showed the mentality you need to be winners," he told Sky Sports News.

"They weren't as fluent as Ange Postecoglou and the Celtic boys would have liked but to keep going is the sign of a good team.

"There's no getting away from the fact they have been the course and distance and a lot of the Rangers boys have in winning title 55 so it's an intriguing one to say the least.

"But Rangers will know that Celtic are a really good team and the gap is there and that they are deservedly in the driving seat.


"Mick will have an eye on next season and he'll need to wheel and deal in the January transfer window. He said he wants to shake things up, I'm sure there will be one or two names he wants to bring in that he thinks will give the squad a push.

"They need to keep going but the harsh reality is Celtic are nine points clear with more than half the season played so it will be difficult to claw that back.

"Rangers still have to believe they can catch them. I'd believe if I was a manager or player but Ange has a wonderful style of football, they score lots of goals, and I'm not sure the rest of the league, apart from Hearts, are really competitive enough to consistently take points off the Old Firm so Celtic could put a string of wins together of eight or nine wins.

"Rangers are also capable but the gap at the start of the season that was built up is difficult to bridge."

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Former Celtic defender Mark Wilson believes January signing Alistair Johnston can be happy with his Old Firm debut as he assesses the 2-2 draw at Ibrox

Former Celtic defender Wilson was encouraged by Alistair Johnston's debut on derby day, adding they showed why they are so far ahead in the title race with their will to play until the final whistle.

"I thought Alistair Johnston, for a guy who's been at the club for about four weeks and only trained with the team, I thought he was excellent in the first half. I think he can be happy with his debut," he said.

"If you look Celtic over the season in terms of possession they've been up between 70 and 80 per cent, yesterday it was down to 60 per cent.

"I've never seen them have so many misplaced passes and out of control of possession.

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Highlights from the Scottish Premiership match between Rangers and Celtic

"I think he'll be disappointed in that respect but he will be pleased that, once again, this Celtic side showed they go to the end of the game and they manage to get a point when it didn't look likely at one stage.

"Ange Postecoglou will see an improvement in Rangers but it's a great sign of champions when you're not at your best and you can go to your greatest rivals, in that sort of atmosphere, and grind out a point.

"I think Beale will be encouraged by what his team did but he knows he's still got huge improvements to go to get anywhere near this Celtic side as they've got so much strength and depth.

"Coming away with Ibrox with that points tally still intact is a decent day for the Celtic manager."

Is time running out for Johnson?

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Former Hibernian midfielder Kevin Thomson believes time could be running out for manager Lee Johnson after defeat to Hearts left them with one win from their last six games

Hibernian have won just one of their last six games and are currently eighth in the Scottish Premiership, just four points above the relegation play-off place.

They failed to impress as they lost 3-0 to Hearts on Monday leaving them without an Edinburgh derby win since 2019.

Thomson believes his former team are at risk of the drop unless changes are made soon.

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Highlights from the Scottish Premiership match between Hearts and Hibernian

"He's got a big job on his hands Lee Johnson," he said. "I think there's a bit of unrest among the Hibs fans.

"They want to see a Hibs team performing. It's a big game against Motherwell next week so the pressure is certainly on.

"I think when anyone gets a pre-season and a summer window and then you get to January and your team looks how your team looks then I think a lot of people would question the things that he's been saying.

"I've got no doubt it's difficult but that's the way it is when you represent a big club, the pressure comes.

"Unfortunately, so far, with the run of results they've had and the position they're in then a lot of Hibs fans are saying they're in a relegation battle and they're looking over their shoulder."

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Mark Wilson does not believe sacking Lee Johnson would turn Hibs' fortunes around as he also acknowledges the increasing pressure on Jim Goodwin at Aberdeen

Wilson is not sure relieving the manager of his duties would make the impact many believe it would.

"For Lee Johnson it's just one bad result after another and bad performances to match," he added.

"When you lose derby games in the fashion he did then of course you come into a bit of trouble. With Scottish Cup week around the corner and a couple of big fixtures, particularly another derby game for Lee Johnson and I don't think he can afford to lose that one.

"You can't keep going on sacking managers, whatever new manager comes in is left with the same squad.


"You can only make so many changes during a transfer window and I'm pretty sure Lee Johnson will want to make some changes in this transfer window.

"Where do you get the continuity if you keep changing your manager every 19 or 20 games? It's just not possible to get any success like that.

"Hibs are a big club, they've got a huge fan base who expect better and they're right. Lee Johnson's got a big month ahead."

Pressure mounting on Goodwin

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Aberdeen were held to a draw by Ross County and are winless in five matches

Aberdeen are without a win in their last five matches and are now five points behind third-place Hearts.

Despite a largely dominant display they could not unlock bottom-of-the-table Ross County in their last match as the pressure mounted on manager Goodwin.

"Jim Goodwin and Lee Johnson will know you don't get any time in this game now, particularly with overseas owners as they're quite happy to pull the trigger quite early," Wilson said.

"Jim Goodwin hasn't won in five games. Only a few weeks ago when they were beating Rangers 2-1 and they were sitting in third place the season looked so different for them.

"They then lose those two late goals (to Rangers) then follow it up with a bad performance against St Mirren then yesterday against Ross County all of a sudden it doesn't look so good and the pressure quickly mounts."

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Aberdeen boss Jim Goodwin hopes the fans were booing at him rather than his players after they went five games without a victory

Goodwin himself, however, insists now is not the time to panic after that draw at bottom side Ross County - but understands the fans' anger.

He said: "Hopefully the fans showing their frustration isn't aimed at the players because I think the players show a lot of commitment and effort. I think it's more aimed my way which is part and parcel of the game.

"Since the World Cup break we've not picked up enough points, it's as simple as that. I've been in the game long enough to know how it works but I also know how to come out the other side.

"I certainly won't panic - that reaction at the end doesn't faze me.

"We were in control for the majority of the game and got into some good areas. The only disappointing this is we lacked a bit of quality in the final third."

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