JOHN Barnes has suggested some title race pressure may be "lifted off Celtic" by Steven Gerrard's Rangers exit and new boss Giovanni van Bronchorst coming in.

The former Celtic boss reckons the league title race was always going to be tighter this season but Gerrard's move to Villa could relieve some pressure on Ange Postecoglou and his players.

Barnes, who admitted the Rangers squad is good enough to retain the league title, went on to question whether the demands at Ibrox will change under Van Bronckhorst.

And he even predicted some minor '"teething problems which every team has under a new manager".

Speaking to BonusCodeBets, Barnes explained:  “Regardless of Steven Gerrard’s departure to the Premier League, the Scottish Premier League was always going to be more closely contested than last season, which is clear with Celtic only being four points behind Rangers.  

“However, there may be some pressure lifted off Celtic by Gerrard leaving, because of the demand that he may have put on the Rangers players. Now with a new manager, whether Giovanni van Bronckhorst will demand the same from his players remains to be seen.  

“The Rangers players are still good enough to win the league this season and the new manager will definitely help them try to do that, but the defeat last weekend was most likely the players taking their foot off the gas.  

“I have no doubt that they will be challenging with Celtic for the title come the end of the season, but right now it’s simply teething problems which every team has under a new manager.”