NEIL LENNON has launched a stinging attack on Rangers and branded the treatment of Graeme Murty as “scandalous” then described last week’s derby as a “freak show” because it was so one-sided.

This could be viewed as a warning to the Hibernian manager’s fellow television pundit Steven Gerrard, he held more talks with the Ibrox club yesterday, and who last night was expected to be confirmed as the new manager at Ibrox within a couple of days.

Lennon won't top any popularity list among the Rangers supporters; however, his words will resonate with most who have looked on in astonishment with what is happening at their club.

Murty was relieved of his duties on Tuesday less than 48 hours after his team were thrashed 5-0 at Celtic Park and while Lennon knows in Glasgow second is nothing, he felt for the former youth coach given everything he has been forced to deal with.

"It's scandalous the way he's been treated,” said Lennon. “That's just my opinion but he's been hung out on his own.

"I've been in that sort of position myself at Bolton when there is no leadership or structure. There is a structure at Rangers but there seems to be a lack of real genuine support.

"When it really got tough a lot of people turned their back on him, which I found unpalatable. I've spoken to him this week to offer my support.

"At the end of the day Graeme is a human being. People forget that. It was a very difficult position he was put in and even an experienced guy would find that situation very difficult.

"So I just rang him for a few words of encouragement and to wish him well in whatever he decides to do."

Lennon spoke warmly about Gerrard last week, the two are friends, and while he didn’t rule out Rangers finishing second, a position he is eyeing up, the former Celtic captain and manager outlined what he felt was wrong at Ibrox.

The Hibs boss, who faces Aberdeen at Pittodrie tomorrow, made it clear Gerrard has a huge job on his hands.

“Celtic are a fantastic team but they’re beatable,” said Lennon. “Yet they absolutely wiped the floor with Rangers. It was a freak show.

“It got really uncomfortable for me, believe it or not. When the fifth goal went in after 50-odd minutes, I was thinking: ‘This just doesn’t look right.’ It was a total mis-match. I hadn’t seen anything like that before in this fixture.

“The balance is way off kilter from what we’re used to, it’s not an Old Firm derby at the moment - not what you would really class as a traditional Celtic-Rangers game, because it’s so one-sided.

“I’m not that bothered about it because I’m on the green-and-white side of it! But from a neutral point of view, from a footballing point of view, it doesn’t look right at all.

"Some of those Rangers players look well short of it. Well short.”

Lennon has been honest in his assessment that Steven Gerrard, expected to be named as Murty’s successor, would be taking a risk if he leaves the relative security of a coaching role with Liverpool’s under-18 side to take charge at Ibrox.

Nevertheless, he reckons ‘things can’t get any worse’ in Govan.

“If the remit is to finish second next season, with the budget and the support that they’ve had this season, that’s fair,” he said They should have been out of sight in second this season, with the money they’ve been able to spend in comparison to ourselves and Aberdeen.

“I don’t think it will take a lot to turn it around. Because it can’t get any worse. It can’t.”

Lennon, meanwhile, admits that the encounter in the Granite City represents their most important post-split fixture if they are to realise their aspirations to secure second spot.

He added: “Regardless of the game [2-1 win] against Celtic, this was always going to be a pivotal game in the five. You take each game on its own merits but this was, on paper, always going to be one of the most difficult of the five.

“It is important aught we don't lose the game because we don't want to give Aberdeen a six point buffer going into the last two games. That would make it really difficult to finish second so we all know what is at stake.”