Steven Gerrard has accused critics of Alfredo Morelos of attempting to drive him out of Scottish football.
The Colombian has come under fire throughout his Ibrox career with pundits and ex-players condemning his disciplinary record and seemingly hot-headed actions.
Rangers defended the “cut-throat” gesture Morelos made in their 2-1 Old Firm win at Celtic Park after he was sent off for the second time this term. They claimed it simply meant the game was over.
A club statement also insisisted the 23 year old was “singled out for special attention” and Rangers manager Gerrard is confident that the striker will continue to improve his behaviour.
Gerrard said: “Everyone knows the amount of time and effort we are putting in as a staff and the other players are putting in to help him.
“He knows he’s not perfect but he’s certainly misunderstood because he does a lot of good work and he is trying so hard to improve. There’s evidence of that.
“Is he perfect right now? No. Will he makes a few mistakes going forward? I predict he probably will, but a lot of the fallout and the opinion, people do want to kill him.
“People want to see him the other side of the world for good. You also have to understand where that’s coming from and the reasons why it’s getting said.
“We understand all that, there’s no problem. The most important thing for us is that he’s going to help us massively in the second half of the season.
“I’m not going to sit here and paint a picture that he’s an angel or he’s perfect but what I can guarantee is that he’s doing everything he can improve,” added Gerrard.
Victory in the Old Firm showdown took Rangers – who have a game in hand – to within two points of Celtic in the Premiership title race.
Much of the focus since has centred around Morelos, pictured, as he has once again made headlines and attracted attention.
But Gerrard insists the striker won’t be put off by those who line up to condemn him.
The former Liverpool midfielder said: “Because he is a threat, because he scores big goals and he is a big player for Rangers.
“He is one of the big reasons and the key factors that, if we are to be successful, they know it will be largely down to his goals and his contribution.
“But that is life, that is the way it is. When I played with [Luis] Suarez at Liverpool, he didn’t really have any fans outside.
“I used to join up with England and the opposition players despised him and couldn’t believe you were saying he was actually a genuine guy and a family man and had a heart of gold.
“That is why these players are special, because they have got that in their game. They are not always going to get it right and everyone has to accept that.
“And I think the people that fire the negativity have to also remember what they have got under their roof as well. Not everyone is perfect in other teams as well.”