Celtic need domestic challenge, says Rangers' Mark Warburton

Rangers v Celtic
Rangers could join Celtic in the Scottish Premiership next season

Rangers manager Mark Warburton agrees that Glasgow rivals Celtic need more competition domestically to help them succeed in European football.

Molde head coach Ole Gunnar Solskjaer had suggested that Celtic are currently hampered by winning the Scottish Premiership "just by turning up".

"The better the challenge you face, the better the opportunity to develop and move forward," Warburton said.

Media playback is not supported on this device

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer media conference

"Any team, in any league, you require the quality, consistent challenge."

Solskjaer made his comments after the Norwegian side beat Celtic to leave the Scottish champions bottom of Europa League Group A.

"It's hard when you win the league just by turning up every year," said the 42-year-old.

"It's hard to keep the quality up. It's just natural that they struggle to get up to the heights they used to when they had the Old Firm derbies."

And, speaking before Rangers' 4-0 win over Alloa Athletic, Warburton, 53, reckoned the prospect of the Ibrox side returning to the top flight to help provide such a challenge "has to be good" for Scottish football on the whole.

"I'm sure Celtic need that quality of challenge on a more consistent and regular basis to allow them to be successful at the high level," said Warburton, Rangers' first English manager.

"I'm talking here as coming in from the outside.

"The European teams have that variety and quality of challenge and we have to make sure that Scottish teams have equally as good an offering of fixture."

Returning to winning ways following last weekend's defeat by Hibernian, Warburton was pleased with Rangers' "good performance and good start" as Martyn Waghorn and James Tavernier's 10th goal of the season provided early goals.

Martyn Waghorn
Martyn Waghorn scores his 17th goal of the campaign, Rangers' third against Alloa

Those were supplemented by Waghorn's 17th of the campaign just before the break and then an added-time fourth from Nicky Clark.

"The second half of the first half we were a little bit sloppy and gave a couple of chances away," said Warburton.

"But the second half we dominated possession and it was comfortable in the end. Good to see the goals distributed."

Warburton also confirmed that there will be no further interest in Manchester City midfielder George Glendon, who trained with Rangers during the week.

Meanwhile, the potential signing of former Coventry City, Watford and Derby County midfielder John Eustace has hit a set-back.

"John's had a domestic situation to deal with at home unfortunately and he's dealing with that now," explained Warburton.

"He needs time to deal with it. The club wish him well in that situation and we'll see where we are in a couple of weeks' time.

"We'll do nothing further with George, he's gone back to Man City.

"He's a good technical player and a good all-round guy as well, but he's gone back to his club."

Top Stories