Sionko: Gers not weaker

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Libor Sionko insists Rangers can still mount an SPL title challenge, despite falling seven points behind arch-rivals Celtic.

A 2-0 defeat at Parkhead in the first Old Firm clash of the season saw The Gers lose further ground on the reigning champions.

Rangers have yet to find top gear this season, with a home draw against Dundee United and away loss to Hibernian among their setbacks.

Sionko accepts The Gers cannot continue in this vein, but feels they can catch Celtic after admitting they were unfortunate to lose on Saturday.

"We are very disappointed," Sionko told Pravo. "When looking back to the match, I think we deserved a draw, even if Celtic put pressure on us in some parts of the game.

"In the second half we put them under pressure and we were very close to making the score level.

"Celtic raised the margin to seven points and that is really a big point after eight rounds.

"It is not an insuperable margin, but we cannot allow ourselves another loss of points.

"Despite the efforts of Hearts, I think that the Glasgow clubs will be those who fight for the SPL title.

"Rangers cannot keep losing points against seemingly weaker teams. We are certainly not weaker than Celtic."

The midfielder relished his first experience of an Old Firm game and discussed the match with compatriot Jiri Jarosik, who failed to be selected for the contest by Celtic.

Sionko added: "I have never experienced such an atmosphere at club level. It is the biggest derby I have ever played in.

"The whole stadium was chanting and roaring, in some moments when I was on the bench, my whole body was shivering.

"I spoke to Jiri Jarosik after the match as fans don't like to see players from these two clubs having a chat.

"Jirka is all right, it was only a decision from their manager. He was happy for the win, but he was not as happy as if he took part in it, which I understand."