No bragging from Rangers boss Gerrard after defeating Celtic

Date published: Sunday 30th December 2018 10:54

Steven Gerrard TEAMtalk

Steven Gerrard admitted Rangers cannot afford to stand still after their Old Firm success if they want to overtake Celtic in the Ladbrokes Premiership.

The Ibrox boss masterminded Gers’ first league victory over their bitter foes for almost seven years as his fired-up side smothered the Hoops into submission.

Saturday’s 1-0 triumph – sealed by Ryan Jack’s first-half winner – moves the Light Blues level on 42 points with Brendan Rodgers’ champions, who still have a game in hand.

Gerrard was appointed to bridge the huge gulf in glass that had opened up between Glasgow’s big two since his former Liverpool manager took over across the city.

But the Rangers chief knows that while his men put on an “A plus” display, Celtic could not have played much worse.

That was the perfect storm for his side but Gerrard insists he will need January reinforcements if his side are to weather the challenges ahead.

“I think that at a club this size you can’t stand still,” said the Rangers boss, who will next week fly his side out to Tenerife for a winter break training camp.

“You need to keep striving to improve and grow in all areas of the pitch, myself included.

“We need to try and strengthen in certain areas so we won’t stand still and milk this moment. We’ll enjoy the win and then we’ll have a rest and get back on the horse and get ready to go again. But we still have a lot of hard work to do.

“We’re now off for five or six days to allow the players to recover.

“We’ve been non-stop since June 15 so the players need some family time. We worked on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day so they deserve time to rest up. We’ll then go abroad to the sun and push them again with a mini pre-season.

“We’ll try and get bodies back available so I can pick the strongest side at the end of January.”

Gers dominated Rodgers’ men but Gerrard know a Parkhead side that has chalked up seven straight league titles will bounce back.

“Listen, Celtic are still the favourites,” he said. “They’re still the team to beat.

“I’m not going to sit here and brag because we’ve beat Celtic once. We have respect for the opposition and the other teams in the league.

“It’s a very difficult league and Celtic are still the favourites. But what we have shown today is that when we find a level then we are more than a match for them.”

Winger Ryan Kent returned from a two-month injury lay-off to tee up Jack’s decisive strike and told RangersTV: “I’m over the moon. Since I did my first injury I’ve been grafting and I managed to get back in time for an unbelievable game.

“I was a little bit rusty but I was expecting that after almost two months out. I was delighted to get the assist for Jacko.

“I saw what it meant to the fans and everyone associated with Rangers Football Club. We can’t get carried away with that though, to us it’s just three points.”

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