Steven Gerrard has told his Rangers squad they will end up empty handed again next season if they do not clean up their act.
The Light Blues picked up their 12th red card of the season when Allan McGregor was dismissed for kicking out at Hibernian striker Marc McNulty last Sunday.
The veteran goalkeeper’s moment of madness left Gerrard – who has already seen striker Alfredo Morelos sent off five times this term – exasperated once again.
The former England midfielder admits his side’s indiscipline has hampered their attempts to halt Celtic’s bid for the triple treble and worries they will face more pain after the summer if they cannot cut out the needless cards.
Speaking ahead of Sunday’s Old Firm clash, when his side will square off against the Hoops for the first time since Morelos was sent off for lashing out at Scott Brown at Parkhead, Gerrard said: “The word discipline has come up a lot of times this season and the last game as well.
“The players are well aware of how I want them to behave. The last Old Firm is in the past, so we don’t need to go back and talk about what happened there.
“Celtic are coming as champions and we’ll do everything we can to get three points. That’s our only focus – not worrying about the past.
“As manager of this team I do everything I can to support the players.
“But they have got to respect the club, the supporters and what we’re trying to achieve here.
“They have also got to respect how hard the job is with the challenge other teams are setting us and realise it’s crucial, it’s vital, we have a level of discipline and keep important players on the pitch.
“I don’t know the exact numbers of games or minutes but we’ve had too many good players missing for important parts of the season and if we don’t improve our discipline I predict we could have a similar season to the one we’re having next year.
“There is no way you can be successful if your big players are missing for big games.”
Of Rangers’ 12 dismissals this campaign, only four could be termed footballing incidents with the rest either for violent conduct, dissent or unsporting behaviour.
Gerrard added: “We want the players to be aggressive, to compete and at times we understand that you will get a double yellow through the season or a couple of red cards where we go, ‘OK maybe we were unlucky there’.
“But the red cards that we have had, the majority of them have been unacceptable.
“It’s frustrating as a manager to keep talking about discipline and certain individuals in the press.
“But it’s down to those players to sort themselves out and behave differently.
“But as I say that, I love players who play on the edge and give it all, who compete and fight. However, you have to channel that in the right way.”