Steven Gerrard Delighted With Champions' Efforts

STEVEN GERRARD was delighted with his champions’ efforts as they moved on to 99 Scottish Premiership points with a 3-0 win at Livingston.

Rangers were superb in West Lothian tonight to secure the victory, with James Tavernier opening the scoring with a penalty before Ryan Kent and Ianis Hagi added deserved gloss in the second half.

Afterwards, Gerrard told RangersTV: "I think we had to work really hard to make it comfortable. To be fair to Davie [Martindale] and his team, they try to jump on you, they press you and they have a lot of energy and they make it uncomfortable for you.

"You have a decision then - you have to compete with that, fight with it and earn the right to get comfortable in the game, and there is a lot of trust in the team now that the quality will come at the right time and we have scored three magnificent goals.

"Obviously the first one is a penalty, but the build-up play to get the penalty was superb. Ianis [Hagi] was extremely brave and goals two and three, I don't know if we have already picked our goals of the year, but they were two outstanding team goals.

"So I am really proud of the boys again - it was a top performance and this is not an easy place to win so well done to the boys."

Gerrard went on to discuss the freedom his players played with tonight, explaining: "I think that comes with confidence and belief and time. We have been working ever so hard to build this team and we have tried to build it on style, of course, as our fans demand that and they want to be entertained, but we have also got to find steel as well.

"When you come away from home and the pitch is a leveler and conditions are changing, you have got to find your steel first.

"If you get your steel, that allows you to get comfortable and then you trust your good players to go and win you the game, and that is what happened today."

The gaffer had particular praise for Joe Aribo, with the ordinarily attacking player doing a sterling job at left-back.

"What can I say about Joe Aribo? Gerrard said. “I tell you what I'll say about him - good players can play football, and top players can play anywhere on the football pitch and a manager can ask a player to do a role.

"Good players can do some and can't do some, but Joe Aribo is a top player, so whatever I ask him to do, he goes out and gives it his best shot.

"He is my 'Man of the Match' tonight just because when you think about it, he is a number 10 and he is just so comfortable at left-back and cruised it and breezed it.

"That left-back performance is as good as we have seen in my three years that I have been here.

"So well done to him for parking his ego and doing a fantastic job for his teammates - well done."

Another high point was 17 year-old Leon King earning a league debut, with Gerrard continuing: "We are putting a lot of things in place and you have seen Nathan burst onto the scene today after getting his opportunity in the last few months and he has really grabbed his opportunity and been superb.

"We want more and we want to be able to give these opportunities out to the kids, but the kids have got to come with us and they have got to be good enough and Leon has been superb in training.

"The biggest compliment I can pay him for his age and where he is at is he hasn't looked out of place in training, so that wasn't a sentimental substitution tonight - he has earned it by training really well among his peers at first-team level."

It’s now onto the final match of the season on Saturday where Gers will be presented with the Premiership trophy.

On that, Gerrard added: "We will enjoy tonight first - we will debrief this game and praise the lads as there was a lot of good stuff in and out of possession, a clean sheet and we have broken the record for clean sheets.

"I don't think the club has ever got over 100 points - so that is a real incentive for us to go and try to finish strongly and take maximum points and if we can't do that, we will obviously still try to get 100.

"But I want 102 - I want another performance that matches tonight as if we do, it will be good enough."

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