IN the Yin and Yang world of the Old Firm, actions at Rangers never go unnoticed at Celtic, and vice versa.

Now that the Chinese whispers over Brendan Rodgers’ future have materialised, eyes and ears at Ibrox will focus on Parkhead.

The news that Rodgers was on his way to Leicester City was confirmed just an hour before Steven Gerrard held his pre-match press conference to discuss the Premiership match with Dundee this evening. There was, naturally, only one place to start as the man in charge of the blue half of Glasgow addressed the future of his now former Old Firm counterpart.

Much was made about Gerrard’s relationship and potential rivalry with Rodgers when he was appointed Rangers boss but the head-to-head with his former Liverpool manager hasn’t even lasted the campaign.

The departure of the Northern Irishman is undoubtedly a boost for Gerrard, though, and the challenge now for his players is to ensure that they capitalise on it.

The matter had to be dealt with, but only one subject really matters to the supporters that will pack Ibrox tonight for a fixture that has taken on even more significance.

“For your sake it might be surreal and create big massive headlines, but for us nothing really changes,” Gerrard said. “We are still going to be competing against a very good Celtic team and I am sure they will put someone in charge of Celtic who is desperate to beat myself and Rangers, so nothing changes for us.

“It’s no surprise that other teams are after Brendan’s services. I have had first hand experience of working with him and I know what a good coach he is. He has obviously had big success since he arrived at Celtic.

“In terms of the timing, you can never really control the timing of these things because if a manager in the Premier League decides they want to change and they go for someone else then it’s very difficult to control the timing.”

In truth, Rangers will do more than have a glance towards the East End of the city in the coming days, but it is events in Edinburgh that could have the biggest impact on the Light Blues. Come Sunday, the season could have a very different complexion.

Celtic will begin life after Rodgers at Tynecastle on Wednesday night before they look to clinch a return to Hampden when they face Hibernian in the Scottish Cup quarter-finals and both of those results will have an impact on Rangers. It will only be a positive if Gerrard’s side take care of their own business above all else.

If the tumult surrounding Celtic turns into dropped points in the Premiership, Rangers must be there to exploit it by seeing off Dundee. If a cup tie is lost for the first time in more than two seasons, Rangers have to avoid an early exit at Pittodrie.

That scenario is always in play in the title race and battle for honours, but it has been refocused now thanks to a major shift. Rangers will believe once again yet they are still very much the outsiders in the Premiership.

With 11 fixtures left in the league, there is just enough time remaining for Rangers to make up the eight-point gap that Rodgers established before his departure, but there is no margin for error for the Light Blues.

“We are always hoping that teams we are competing against have their rhythm upset, of course we are,” Gerrard said. “But that’s not at Celtic, that’s at Aberdeen, Hearts, everywhere. And we are hoping that we are in the team that are in good form with the rhythm. It’s nothing really that we can control. All we can focus on is doing our job and we have got Dundee to concern and focus on now. We are in good form, we are on a bit of a crest of a wave.

“But it’s imperative we go in with the same application and hunger we have done in the last few fixtures.”

Gerrard has no influence over how the players in the Celtic dressing room react to the departure of Rodgers and the arrival of Neil Lennon but it is that very factor that could determine Rangers’ ambitions. It can play out in two ways, but only one gives Rangers any hope of silverware from Gerrard’s first campaign.

Too often this term the Gers have failed to make up ground as Celtic lost it, been unable to apply sustained pressure, the likes of which Rodgers never really experienced during his two-and-a-half seasons at Parkhead.

Successive 5-0 wins over Kilmarnock and Hamilton can’t be another false dawn for Rangers and if they can finally build some momentum, then there could yet be a title race.

For Rangers to get back into it, Celtic have to let them. As always, every action will have a reaction in both halves of Glasgow.