FORMER Celtic striker Ian Wright has warned his old club to beware Steven Gerrard’s influence at Ibrox.

The ex-England international frontman, who made eight eight appearances for the Parkhead side in the 1999/2000 season, believes the Liverpool legend has given the team’s supporters reason for optimism.

Wright said: “It will be hard enough for them to catch Celtic, but Rangers fans have been given hope and momentum.

“You could also feel, yes, they’re on their way back – they’re coming.

“I’m really pleased with how it’s working out for Stevie because when he took the job people were saying he was too inexperienced for the job.

“For me, it’s ridiculous. Because no matter what people think about the league, he’s shown he is capable of managing. When he speaks he sounds like he’s been doing the job for years. He just fits the role.

“The players have responded to him, as have the coaches and fans.]

“Gerrard’s appointment couldn’t have come at a worse time for Celtic because you feel like Rangers are in the ascendancy.

“Look at Stevie’s squad – they’re still a bit behind Celtic – but from a momentum point of view, they’ll be looking forward to the Old Firm derby.

“It will be Stevie’s first – it will be him against Brendan Rodgers. Yes, Celtic have the better team, but Rangers have the momentum.

“And with that bit of disenchantment or dissension between Rodgers and the board, it might be enough to upset them.

“Stevie will have them pumped.”

Rodgers and his former Anfield captain go head to head at Parkhead a week on Sunday.

So far the Irishman has faced the Ibrox side 11 times in two seasons and is unbeaten, winning nine and drawing two. The champions have scored 30 goals and conceded six.

The last time the Govan club visited the east end of Glasgow was in April when the Hoops ran amok, winning 5-0 – only a fortnight after hammering Graeme Murty’s side 4-0 in the Scottish Cup semi-final at Hampden.

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