Celtic manager Neil Lennon says his players are like "caged animals" as they wait for the green light to return to training amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The Scottish Premiership has been suspended until further notice following the outbreak, with Celtic holding a 13-point lead over arch rivals Rangers at the summit.

Lennon admits some of his players might be struggling during the enforced absence from football and says the club are keeping a watchful eye on their mental health.

"They're like caged animals," he told BBC Sport. "These are young, fit men who're used to an almost regimented way of living. Their routine is training and playing. All of that is gone. Some of them will be cooking for themselves for the first time in their lives.

"Mentally, the change can put a strain on them. They're used to intensity and suddenly it's not there. We're very aware of the mental [health] side of this. We all need to keep our wellbeing in order.

"As long as I can get out and get some exercise for my own peace of mind then I'm fine. The silence is deafening when you go out for a walk. The place is deserted. We just have to ride it out as best we can. We're all in the same boat."

While understandably missing football, Lennon believes the break could be used as an opportunity for the game to find better ways of connecting with local communities when it returns.

"I'm really missing football," he added. "I'm missing the players, the staff, the games, the colour, the noise, but it's no bad thing to take a moment and appreciate what you've got.

"I think football will mean a lot more to a lot of people when it returns. What I'm seeing now is us going back to our roots, going back to community life with people looking out for each other and maybe we'd gone away from that.

"What's happening is tragic but everybody is pulling together to try to get through it and that's brilliant."

Rangers cut the gap to leaders Celtic down to two points in the Scottish Premiership thanks to a 2-1 victory at their Old Firm rivals on Sunday, despite another red card for Alfredo Morelos.

Nikola Katic's 56th-minute header secured Rangers their first league triumph at Celtic Park in 10 attempts, raising hopes for Steven Gerrard's squad they may finally be able to end Celtic's long run of dominance in the top flight.

While the reigning champions remain at the summit, their Glasgow neighbours have a game in hand as they bid to lift the title for the first time since 2010-11.

The only setback for Gerrard was the late dismissal of Morelos, who was sent off for the seventh time in his Rangers career after picking up a second booking for diving during added time.

Both teams had scored during a crazy nine-minute spell in the first half that saw a missed penalty, a Rangers opener and a fortuitous equaliser from a familiar scorer in these fixtures.

The visitors were on top before Katic presented Celtic the chance to take the lead by holding on to Christopher Jullien's shirt at a corner, the infringement spotted by referee Kevin Clancy.

However, Allan McGregor helped out his team-mate by turning away Ryan Christie's spot kick - and Rangers went ahead soon after when Ryan Kent swept in Borna Barisic's square pass with his left foot.

Celtic had struggled in attack but benefited from a fortunate break to draw level, Callum McGregor's shot going in off Odsonne Edouard, with the deflection - seemingly off an arm - wrongfooting goalkeeper McGregor.

Yet Rangers recovered from the unfortunate setback to retake the lead early in the second half, Barisic again the provider as his corner picked out the run of fellow Croatian Katic.

Steven Davis preserved the visitors' narrow advantage when he headed off the line from Jullien for a second time in the contest, while Morelos - still yet to score against Celtic - received his marching orders too late for the hosts to capitalise on the man advantage.

Steven Gerrard has signed a two-year contract extension to keep him as Rangers manager until 2024, the club have confirmed.

Liverpool great Gerrard, 39, confirmed earlier this week talks over a new deal were at an advanced stage and confirmation of an agreement arrived on Friday.

The former midfielder took charge at Rangers ahead of the 2018-19 season and led them to a second-placed finish, but they look set to run Celtic much closer this term and Gerrard is thrilled to see the club building towards success once again.

"I'm delighted to be extending my stay at this fantastic football club," Gerrard told the club's website.

"When Dave King [chairman] approached me about the possibility of extending my contract with Rangers, it was a very easy decision to make because I'm very happy and feel that we are building something special together at the club.

"I'd like to thank the board for the backing they have given me already in my time at the club and also most importantly, the Rangers fans who have given me and the team such tremendous backing both this season and last."

Although Rangers ended nine points adrift of Scottish Premiership champions Celtic last season, they improved on their third-place finish from the campaign before and are on track for a real title tussle in 2020.

After 15 matches, Rangers are just two points adrift of Celtic, with the pair running away from the rest of the pack, as Motherwell in third are seven points further behind despite playing two matches more.

Gerrard's contract extension comes as a major show of faith less than a week after losing 1-0 to Celtic in Sunday's thrilling League Cup final.

Rangers were the better side for much of the contest but failed to make the most of Celtic being down to 10 men for the final 27 minutes following Jeremie Frimpong's dismissal.

They followed that up with a 1-1 draw with Young Boys in the Europa League on Thursday, securing their progress to the knockout phase from a tricky pool that also included Porto and Feyenoord.

Steven Gerrard has signed a two-year contract extension to keep him as Rangers manager until 2024, the club have confirmed.

Steven Gerrard has revealed he is on the brink of signing a contract extension with Rangers.

Rangers appointed Gerrard on a four-year deal in May 2018 and the former Liverpool midfielder led them to second in the Scottish Premiership in his first season in charge.

The 39-year-old missed out on a first piece of silverware in senior management after a controversial 1-0 loss to rivals Celtic in the Scottish League Cup final on Sunday.

However, Gerrard remains committed to guiding the club back to their previous heights after they were relegated to the Third Division for the 2012-13 season.

"The club approached me probably a week, 10 days ago about a new deal and it's a pretty simple decision as far as I'm concerned," said the Liverpool legend.

"I'm happy here and I'm as hungry and determined to get the good days back here as I ever was, so talks have been pretty straightforward and positive.

"When it's signed and announced you'll have to wait and see."

Gerrard stated official confirmation of renewals for Allan McGregor and Steven Davis could arrive after Rangers take on Young Boys on Thursday with a place in the last 32 of the Europa League on the line. He also hopes to tie down Bournemouth loanee Jermain Defoe beyond this season.

"[Extensions for] Allan McGregor and Steven Davis are imminent. That'll be very close and will probably be announced after Thursday's game. But that's all agreed," said Gerrard.

"They're two players I want around for a year's extension on top of this year.

"Jermain's is a bit different because he's a Bournemouth player until the end of the season but it's a similar situation in the fact that we want him to stay around.

"We'll obviously deal with that as and when we need to."

Rangers boss Steven Gerrard says his players and the assistant referee need to share responsibility for the 1-0 Scottish League Cup final defeat to Celtic on Sunday, but concedes officials need more help than they are getting.

Gerrard's side were comfortably the more dominant throughout, carving out a host of clear opportunities and then missing a penalty through Alfredo Morelos just moments after Christopher Jullien's goal for Celtic, who played much of the second half with 10 men.

Replays appeared to show Jullien in an offside position when he tucked home Ryan Christie's free-kick, leaving Gerrard frustrated the goal was not ruled out, with VAR not yet introduced to Scottish football.

"Finals are normally decided on big moments and the big moments haven't gone in our favour," he told a media conference.

"We conceded from a set-piece, which we shouldn't have given away. Once you concede it, you have to defend it better.

"There were three Celtic players standing in offside positions but unfortunately we play in a country where there is no VAR.

"I think it [VAR] has taken something away from the game, so I'd be a liar if I said I'm 100 per cent in favour of it.

"But one thing I do know is that the officials up here do need some support and help because there are too many things, not just for our club but across the board, that they maybe miss and need a bit of support on.

"I'm not the type of person who blames or look for excuses. The big moments have gone against us today; we are all responsible for that.

"But the reality is, at the top end of football, you expect the linesman to get one of them right from the three who were in an offside position."

Many were surprised to see Morelos take the crucial spot-kick ahead of regular taker James Tavernier, but Gerrard was quick to dismiss suggestions his captain passed up the opportunity to step forward.

"Alfredo was the nominated penalty taker," he explained. "It was nothing to do with James passing the buck or anything like that. I decided we needed to change that up.

"Unfortunately, we haven't taken our chance in that big moment. People will look back at that moment as the chance to swing the momentum of the whole game in our favour, although we were much the stronger team throughout the 90 minutes anyway."

Celtic goalkeeper Fraser Forster says experiences like Sunday's Scottish League Cup triumph are the reason he returned to the club.

Forster enjoyed four years at Celtic between 2010 and 2014 before joining Premier League side Southampton.

He returned north of the border on loan in August, however, and put in an inspired display at Hampden Park as Celtic overcame bitter rivals Rangers 1-0 to register a 10th consecutive domestic trophy.

The 31-year-old produced a string of saves to frustrate Steven Gerrard's side – the pick of which was a penalty stop from Alfredo Morelos just minutes after Christopher Jullien had put Celtic ahead.

Forster told BBC Scotland: "As long as you win, that's all that matters. We really had to fight and grind it out.

"It was just one of them days; it went my way today. I'm buzzing. There's been days when it's not gone my way, today it has. I can't say how much it means to me.

"I didn't really think about the penalty to be honest. I picked the way it went. I'll take it. That's why I came back, to play in games like this, to win silverware, to play European football."

Celtic boss Neil Lennon hailed the contribution of his keeper and says he is in awe of his side's mentality.

"Fraser Forster was outstanding," he said. "He made some unbelievable saves, world-class saves.

"We didn't get going in the first half, but second half we were better. The mentality of the team is amazing. They've won 10 [domestic trophies] in a row – I don't know how they do it.

"This team just doesn't know when it's beaten. They still dig it out and dig it out. They're amazing.

"We are talking 10 major trophies now in a row. We don't want to give anything up. We weren't great today but we still won - and that's what cup football is all about."

Celtic survived the dismissal of Jeremie Frimpong to claim a 10th consecutive domestic trophy with a 1-0 win over bitter rivals Rangers in the Scottish League Cup final at Hampden Park.

Neil Lennon's side were second best for long periods but a combination of Christopher Jullien's 60th-minute goal and a string of fine saves from Fraser Forster ensured Steven Gerrard's wait for a first piece of silverware in his managerial career goes on.

Celtic looked like they had gift-wrapped Rangers a way back into the game just minutes after Jullien's strike, Frimpong dismissed for hauling down Alfredo Morelos inside the penalty area.

As had been the case throughout the match, however, Forster was equal to the Colombian's effort from 12 yards, making sure Celtic maintained their run of dominance in Scottish football.

Rangers had started with a spring in their step, Connor Goldson heading wide from a corner and Forster superbly pawing away Ryan Jack's swerving 25-yard drive inside the opening 15 minutes.

The Celtic goalkeeper then stood firm to repel Morelos' strike after he had raced away from Kristoffer Ajer, then denied Rangers' leading scorer again after he had been played in behind the Celtic defence.

Rangers continued to look threatening at the start of the second period, Morelos flashing agonisingly across the face of goal after being picked out at the back post.

Those misses came back to haunt Rangers on the hour mark, though, when an unmarked Jullien stole in at the back post to convert Ryan Christie's free-kick to give his side the lead.

Rangers were handed an immediate chance to restore parity with Frimpong’s foul following some slapstick defending from Celtic, but Morelos' weak spot-kick was turned away by Forster.

Substitute Michael Johnston inexplicably fired wide after being played clean through, whil there was still time for one final Morelos miss - the forward dragging narrowly wide deep into stoppage time, as Celtic held on for yet another win in a major final.

Discarded Jamaica international Christopher Humphrey, after announcing his retirement from football, has gone the management route. 

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