Rangers boss Steven Gerrard has say on late St Johnstone penalty, Scott Wright and Nathan Patterson appeal

Rangers manager Steven Gerrard bemoaned ‘poor game management’ by his reshuffled team as they conceded a 94th-minute equaliser from the penalty spot in a 1-1 draw against St Johnstone at McDiarmid Park.

Rangers manager Steven Gerrard shows his frustration during the 1-1 draw against St Johnstone at McDiarmid Park. (Photo by Rob Casey / SNS Group)
Rangers manager Steven Gerrard shows his frustration during the 1-1 draw against St Johnstone at McDiarmid Park. (Photo by Rob Casey / SNS Group)

But Gerrard admitted the outcome of the Premiership fixture was always of secondary importance in his mind to next Sunday’s Scottish Cup quarter-final between the sides at Ibrox.

Rangers made seven changes to their line-up, including a return from injury for captain James Tavernier who played for 62 minutes.

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“We started the game really slowly and finished it really slowly as well,” said Gerrard. “Everything in between, I thought we were just okay. I have got no complaints with the scoreline.

Scott Wright celebrates his first goal for Rangers to give them the lead against St Johnstone at McDiarmid Park. (Photo by Rob Casey / SNS Group)

“As soon as our game against Celtic last Sunday finished, I made every decision tonight before the game and during the game with an eye on the weekend and I am content where we are because everyone is available and fit for selection.

“I gave the squad players some game time, which will be useful moving forward. James has come through fine and we nearly sneaked a result by just playing okay.

“We didn’t play any better than that. We should have seen the game out with better game management but unfortunately we didn’t. But I think St Johnstone more than deserved something out of the game.”

Scott Wright provided a positive for Rangers with his first goal for the club, putting them ahead before Liam Craig’s last gasp leveller from the penalty spot.

“Since Scott has come in, everything we have asked of him, he has done really well,” said Gerrard.

“He is really professional, we are working hard with him on and off the pitch. He is up to speed, he looks ready now to contribute and it was a really tidy finish. Again, he showed some flashes but again there are things he can work on, but so can a lot of other people on tonight's performance. We are really pleased with Scott.”

Gerrard refused to be too critical of Kemar Roofe for his attempt to score from around the halfway line rather than just hold onto possession in stoppage time with Rangers 1-0 up. The English forward scored a stunning goal from that range against Standard Liege earlier this season.

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“As a team, we are 1-0 up and you have got to make better decisions, decisions for the team rather than yourself,” added Gerrard.

“But he has tried that before and scored from the halfway line, so who am I to tell him? As a group, we have been really good this season with our game management and parking our ego up in the final moments of the game. Unfortunately tonight we paid for it.

“It was a penalty, we should have won the initial header and it was a combination of small errors.”

Nathan Patterson appeared as a substitute for Tavernier as Rangers still await the outcome of their appeal, heard on Tuesday, against the Scottish FA suspension of the teenage full-back and four other players for a breach of coronavirus regulations.

“It is out of our control,” said Gerrard. “It happened last night late at 6.30pm, which wasn’t ideal in terms of preparation because we didn’t know if we could include the boys or not.”

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