'Soft and weak' - Steven Gerrard blasts Rangers players after Tranmere Rovers loss
Steven Gerrard let rip at his Rangers players after a surprise pre-season defeat by Tranmere Rovers, branding some of his squad “soft and weak”.
Micky Mellon’s side won the encounter 1-0 thanks to Kieron Morris’ long-range effort ten minutes before the interval and while the Ibrox boss conceded there were positives from the match, he was fuming at certain aspects of the loss.
The Scottish Premiership champions had chance after chance at Prenton Park, with Cedric Itten, Ryan Kent, Kemar Roofe, Jermain Defoe, Lewis Mayo, Scott Wright, Ianis Hagi, and Joe Aribo all having chances in front of goal.
“I think there were large pockets of control and you could clearly see our style but over the 90 minutes, in the final third it was nowhere near good enough for a Rangers standard,” he told RangersTV.
“I’m disappointed with the result, quite frustrated with our final-third play but really happy with pockets and how certain individuals going about our business.”
Rangers were without eight first-team members, with Alfredo Morelos, Filip Helander, Glen Kamara, Nathan Patterson, and Borna Barisic all missing due to international duty and Nikola Katic, Ryan Jack, and Scott Arfield recovering from injury, but Gerrard felt the players at his disposal should have been able to offer more than they did.
“I have to take into consideration that it’s our second game and we are coming into the game fatigued, but the level of players we have here, I expect us to create more and certainly get a couple of goals each half.
“The goal we conceded was embarrassing from our level on how it was last year.
“People jumping out of the way of tackles, people being soft and weak… I can’t tolerate that.
“As we move along we will get stronger and better, and there will be a better level of performance.
“It’s quite frustrating to lose the game. The big picture is that the result is not important at the moment but the takeaway is where we have to improve, [which is] certainly the final third.”
Rangers will now regroup ahead of next Saturday’s pre-season friendly against Arsenal at Ibrox.
A message from the Editor:
Thank you for reading this article. We're more reliant on your support than ever as the shift in consumer habits brought about by Coronavirus impacts our advertisers.
If you haven't already, please consider supporting our trusted, fact-checked journalism by taking out a digital subscription.
Want to join the conversation? Please or to comment on this article.