Rangers star Borna Barisic has said that John Kennedy’s claim that Celtic are a stronger team than their Ibrox rivals is “the biggest joke this year”.
Celtic’s interim manager Kennedy had said that he had full belief in his players and that, on their day, they remained “the best team in the country” despite having lost their grip on the Scottish Premiership title.
Barisic dismissed that claim, pointing to Rangers’ title triumph, the gap at the top of the table and the previous three derby results.
“I thought it was the biggest joke I heard this year,” the full-back said.
“They haven’t won against us in the last three games and we are 20 points ahead of them.
“It’s a bit disrespectful to us.”
The Croatian international said that there was no basis for any argument about who the superior team has been this season, especially with Rangers still undefeated in the Premiership.
“You need to be in life always realistic,” he added.
“If someone is better and if someone is 20 points in front of you, you just don’t talk like that. It is disrespectful for all the things we do this season.
“It is not only from him. I know a lot of people talking about Celtic’s situation with Covid and all of these things. It’s like we’ve lost five games or we are just five points in front of them.
“We are 20 points clear in front of them, we didn’t lose a game this year. It is disrespectful to talk about anyone and changes. I am talking about this season. That’s it.”
The teams meet in the Scottish Cup on Sunday and Barisic believes the fact it’s a knock-out game may mean a different encounter from the league games this season, but he is confident his team’s impressive form can continue.
“It is a cup game and an Old Firm game, it will be tough but we will be prepared,” he said.
“With our attacking players it gives us confidence, we have a very good team.
“The whole team plays together and defends together. A clean sheet is earned by the full team.”