Steven Gerrard Says Rangers Back Something Close To Our Best

THRILLED Steven Gerrard reckons his Rangers side ‘got back to something close to our best’ as Celtic were defeated in the Old Firm Scottish Cup derby at Ibrox.

St Johnstone now lie in wait twice in this coming week for the Light Blues, firstly on Wednesday in Perth in the league before back here at Ibrox in the Scottish Cup next weekend.

Speaking to RangersTV, Gerrard said: "We were really honest with the lads, and we told them before the game, our recent performances, we had come off it a little bit since we had become champions, which I suppose is a little bit natural, but it was key that we got back to something close to our best today.

"Celtic had some periods in the game where they were on top and they looked like they were going to score and they had some good chances, but again, we have soaked that up and we have played some magnificent stuff ourselves and created chances at the other end.

"So we are really pleased with the efforts the boys have given today. I thought there were a lot of big performances and we challenged the lads in the 'one v ones' today.

"Derby games are about winning the 'one v ones' and the 'two v ones' - for example, Edouard up against our centre-backs, we have to win that battle if we are to come out on top.

"So we challenged the lads and they have all passed with flying colours because we have won the game 2-0 with a clean sheet.

"[Allan] McGregor, I am bored of speaking about him - he is world class and I have said it before. We have just given him a year deal, but we should have given him a 10 one as he can have my job after me if he wants!

"We love him that much he can have whatever he wants. Steven Davis was majestic in the middle of the park alongside Glen Kamara.

"Glen is someone who we are still trying and talking to commit here as he is a big player for us, and Connor Goldson is the same.

"There are a lot of players we are working with to try and get them tied up here as they are so important for the team moving forward.

"It is important now that we settle down after this game and get ready for Wednesday night and calm our jets and get prepared now for another game on Wednesday and another big game on Saturday because it is important we go and build on this result and performance now."

The manager was speaking live to Alex Rae and Shelley Kerr after the match, with Kerr asking Gerrard about the team’s shape.

To that, he responded: "This is a shape we have worked on for an awful long time and within that shape, we do tweak certain things, for example, Joe Aribo, we asked him to play a little bit more wide today so they didn't have that free pass outside and that they could play behind us.

"I thought we managed that really well.

"Look, Celtic are a good team with top players and they are always going to have a period of the game where they get on top and they create chances.

"They have got top players - we know that. But these lads take information on so well and everything we have asked them to do today, they have gone and carried that out.

"Towards the end of the game, we dropped both our number 10s back into the wide and went more as a 4-5-1 just to stop them getting wide and put crosses into our box.

"So there were a few things we changed tactically, but it is alright saying it and preparing for it, the boys have got to go out and deliver that and they did excellently well."

The hunger still contained within the Rangers squad to keep on pushing also delighted the manager, who added: "You could see by our performance today. We said when we became champions it was important to really enjoy the moment and soak that up.

"But because we have won it so early, there was a danger there could have been a bit of complacency or we could have come off our standards as we have done a bit of late a little bit.

"But today, we were back. Everything we asked of the boys in and out of possession, our standards, our energy, our fight, everything was there today in abundance and if we can keep that and hold that for another five weeks, hopefully we can build on what we have already done."

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