GIOVANNI VAN BRONCKHORST admits Rangers were made to look like Old Firm rookies as they crashed to an embarrassing 3-0 defeat to Celtic.
The champions were humbled at Parkhead on a night where Celtic ran riot and could easily have won by a greater margin as they moved top of the Premiership standings.
A first half double from Reo Hatate and a Liel Abada strike condemned Van Bronckhorst to his first defeat as manager since he succeeded Steven Gerrard in November.
And the Dutchman has revealed there was an ‘honest’ conversation post-match as attentions now turn to the visit of Hearts and a hugely significant Ibrox clash on Sunday.
Van Bronckhorst said: “Very disappointing. If you start an Old Firm game like this, it seemed like it was the first Old Firm we played.
“You know what it will bring, the Old Firm, what you have to do, the environment we go in, the ambience, the pressure we get, everything. It seemed like we weren’t ready for it.
“You see the way that we gave the goals away. It is a sharpness. I cannot say otherwise. Not going with your man, not being ready for the battles. I think it was unbelievable the first half that I saw.
“Our Old Firm game started in the second half. We were much better, much more aggressive and we played well but the first half we gave the game away.
“Of course we have had an honest conversation in the locker room after the game. Obviously we didn’t [play] the way we wanted, especially in the first half. Second half was much better.
“It is always difficult, these kind of games, and what we have to do is make sure we stick together and we look forward and be ready for Sunday against Hearts. It is a very tough environment to come but we are not the first Rangers team to lose.
“I lost very big here when I was a player but we became champion that year. Of course we want to win these games but these games don’t decide the championship and we still have many games to play. We have to be ready.”