‘We want it to stop’: Steven Gerrard condemns sectarian chants from Rangers fans
The chant calling Clarke a ‘Fenian bastard’ was heard during the first half of Rangers’ 5-0 Premiership victory over Hamilton Accies at the Hope CBD Stadium.
A banner had earlier been unfurled among the visiting fans which read ‘Get Well Soon Steve Clarke’ in response to the former Scotland international’s angry response to the original chants directed at him during last Wednesday’s Scottish Cup tie between Rangers and Kilmarnock at Ibrox.
Rangers chairman Dave King offered a public apology to Clarke and stressed his club’s determination to ‘root out’ sectarianism. Gerrard backed up that stance when he spoke after the win at Hamilton which maintains his team’s interest in the title race.
“For me, at the risk of repeating myself, we don’t want to hear that or see anything,” said Gerrard. “I was quite clear in my press conference last week. There is no place for it. We want it to stop.”
Gerrard saw his team deliver a dynamic first half display to dismantle relegation-threatened Hamilton. They led 4-0 at the break through goals from Ryan Jack, Jermain Defoe, Scott Arfield and James Tavernier before substitute Kyle Lafferty completed the rout after the break.
The victory was achieved without suspended top scorer Alfredo Morelos. “I thought we came out the blocks really well,” said Gerrard. “We controlled all of the first 45 minutes. We certainly deserved a big lead at half-time
It’s difficult at 4-0, some people mentally switch off a little bit. We became a little bit flat in the second half so I wanted to bring the subs on to bring a bit more energy and purpose about our play. That’s what they did and we managed to get another goal late on
“It is pleasing because we have been overly reliant on Alfredo at times. We definitely have the quality out there to create goals and score goals when he’s not available. That was a big positive today. I’m very pleased with the the clean sheet as well, so it was a good performance all round.”