In a stark warning to Rangers, former midfielder Pedro Mendes has stressed that the club simply can't afford to throw away another Scottish Premiership title.

With Celtic closing in on their 55th league championship, Mendes emphasised the importance of Rangers reclaiming their dominance.

"One thing that Rangers fans are really proud of is their history and how many titles they have won, so Celtic being one away from 55 is a matter of concern," Mendes said. "Rangers need to open up that gap again."

The former Rangers star acknowledged the challenges facing the club, with key players like Borna Barisic and John Lundstram departing. "There are a lot of things going on at Rangers at the moment," he told BoyleSports.

Mendes highlighted the team's mentality as a crucial factor, stating, "Last year they did the most difficult thing in catching up to Celtic but then they just threw everything away in two or three games. 

“It's their mentality that’s important. To play for a team like Rangers is not enough to just be a good player. You need to have a very, very strong mentality because every game has to be a win.

“You can't afford to draw. No matter the pitch, no matter the opponent, you can't afford even a draw. Every game has to be a win. They can't afford to throw another title away.

“Philippe Clement has been talking about their signings and keeping key players so hopefully they settle down quickly and can win the Premiership again, it would be a massive, massive win for Rangers this season.” 

Ultimately, Mendes' message is clear: Rangers must learn from their past mistakes and maintain a relentless winning mentality if they are to reclaim their place at the top of Scottish football.

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Mendes was also quizzed on Philippe Clememt’s Ibrox tenure so far and acknowledged that the door should always be open for a potential return of Steven Gerrard, who had previously led the club to the league title if things don’t work out for the Belgian.

“Steven Gerrard did a good job at Rangers so a return in the future is always possible,” Mendes said.

“With the job he did in winning the title it means the door would always be open to a return later in his career.

“But at the moment the board and the fans are keen on Philippe Clement.

“There has been a really good feeling about him since the moment he signed and I think he needs to be allowed to prepare the team as he wants so he can win a title with Rangers.”