Tommy Wright takes no pleasure from saying it is win or bust for Rangers this season.
Under the charge of Steven Gerrard, the Light Blues have made huge strides.
It is an anomaly of the coronavirus shutdown that they are still in the 2019-20 Europa League.
Yet as the Premiership gears up for the start of the new campaign, one thing is clear.
This season is going to be historic – one way or another.
Either Celtic win the title to become the first Scottish club ever to complete 10-in-a-row. Or someone else claims the glory of stopping them by breaking the sequence.
And here Rangers – the only other club to win nine titles on the trot – are by far the likeliest contender.
Regardless of the outcome, the future careers of all involved will be shaped by the roles they play in the drama.
“Just like at Celtic, the target for Rangers is simple – win the league,” said Wright.
“Steven will know that. That is what he was brought to the club for.
“I think he has done extremely well to date.
“He came in – a huge character with a big personality – and he gave the whole of Scottish football a lift.
“He has had Rangers playing attractive football, which is what you would expect given the quality that he has at his disposal.
“And they have done brilliantly in Europe.”
However, the one thing Gerrard, a serial winner as player, has failed to do in his two years and two months as a manager, is deliver a major trophy.
“Like everybody, Steven is still learning. He will have learned from the experience of last season,” said Wright.
“Ultimately, when you are at clubs like Rangers and Celtic, it is win the league or bust. It is the only thing that matters.
“Personally, I don’t feel stopping 10-in-a-row will be the main motivating factor for Steven.
“He might get more satisfaction because they stop Celtic getting to 10, but what he really wants is for Rangers to win the title.
“I did think back in January that they were in a good position to go on and cross the line.
“It didn’t happen.
“They will be hugely disappointed with what happened after the January break.
“You look back on their results over 2019-20 and it is obvious they need to get better on the road.
“I also feel Alfredo Morelos needs to improve his discipline and stay on the pitch more.
“He is a huge influence for them in terms of the numbers of goals he gets.”
As crucial as the leadership of the managers involved can be in any title race, Wright makes the point that finance could be key.
And here Wright feels the men who run and fund Rangers could be as important as anyone in determining the destination of the title.
“As a club, they will be hugely disappointed not to have won the title, and I expect them and Celtic to go head-to-head again this season,” he said.
“It will depend on the recruitment between now and the end of October because those squads are not yet complete.
“Steven has done some recruitment already.
“Ianis Hagi and Jermain Defoe’s moves have been made permanent, and they brought in Jon McLaughlin on the face of it as cover for Allan McGregor.
“They have also brought in Calvin Bassey from Leicester City.
“But you have to remember this is not a normal transfer window. They still have months to go, and who they sign will be massively important.
“It will make a big difference and it will depend on how much money they have to spend.”
As his words suggest, Wright believes the final destination of the title is too tight to call.
“As things stand, I would have to say Celtic have probably got the stronger squad. But there is not a lot in it,” he said.
“Where they have the advantage at the moment is that they have got across the line on numerous occasions, winning cups and titles.
“However, Fraser Forster is potentially a big loss and, as I say, Steven still has time in the transfer market.”
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