THE Celtic team that halted Rangers’ march towards a record tenth league title in-a-row under Wim Jansen in 1998 will hardly be revered by Ibrox supporters, but they might just end up being the inspiration for this generation of Rangers players to pull off the same trick.

This time, it is Celtic who are closing in on finally breaking the glass ceiling which currently sits at nine consecutive titles, achieved by sides of the Glasgow divide, with title number eight almost in the bag.

Time is running out for Steven Gerrard’s men to stop what will be the unthinkable to many among their support, but he thinks his men can take inspiration from their chance to be regarded as club legends, just like that Celtic class of ’98.

“The Celtic team that stopped Rangers’ 10 is still regarded as being up there with their great teams,” Gerrard said. “That’s the way it is up here. The players here are aware of that. It’s a tough challenge for everyone here because Celtic are dominating.

“They’re in a position where they can go and spend £9 million on a player. And we’ll keep an eye on movements across the road, in terms of how they strengthen in the summer. But what’s important is that we’re in a position to challenge that. The reality is, we need to add quality for that to happen.”

And so, Gerrard will delve back into the transfer market this summer to find the players to supplement what he has built so far to the extent that they can bring Celtic’s domination to an end. Of all the qualities he is crying out for, an unshakeable winning mentality is a prerequisite, something that is far from easy to find in the markets Rangers will be shopping in.

“It’s hard to find players with that mentality because they cost a lot of money,” Gerrard said.

“So, we have to weave some magic in the market to find these players who might surprise people.

“Not everyone with that quality costs money. There’s people running down contracts, free transfers, players who are blocked at big clubs like we’ve seen with Ryan Kent.

“I have a profile of the players I want, in certain cases. But I can’t say, ideally, I want a 19 or 20-year-old. They might not be ready. I need players who are ready now. I appreciate that it’s important to keep producing players and I won’t ignore the academy. But the reality is that you don’t get time at a club like Rangers. I need players now – forget their age. The profile has to demand that they’re ready to win. We don’t need squad players. We need players who will affect the 11 and make the squad stronger.

“It is quite clear that we have progressed and done well in certain areas, but the reality is that it is time to strive for the quality.

“We have a good base, but we need to create a winning team and a winning squad.”

As Gerrard looks back on his first season as a senior manager, he is humble enough to admit he has made errors along the way. Taking too long to clamp down on indiscipline, particularly from Alfredo Morelos, being something he is happy to hold his hands up to.

“From a personal point of view, I have learned a lot about my players, the environments we have to go to, opposition managers’ tactics,” he said. “I have also learned we need to improve our discipline. Massively.

“We’ve already started to affect changes to our disciplinary record. Making a stand recently with Alfredo sent a message out. And the code of conduct here will be tweaked in the summer. I tried to be respectful to the dressing-room by not ripping everything up that had worked before. But it will be tweaked now, on and off the pitch.

“It’s up for debate whether I waited too long with Alfredo. But if someone accused me of that, I’d probably have to accept it.”