Concentrating all efforts on thwarting Celtic’s bid for an unprecedented tenth straight title is something Steven Gerrard says he is unwilling to do.
The Rangers manager has been unable to capture any silverware during his previous two campaigns at Ibrox while making huge strides in European football, and he maintains he will continue to go full-out on all fronts.
“I respect where we’re at. I don’t want to play it down but at the same time don’t want to play it up either,” he said of the club’s quest for a first championship in a decade that continues with St Mirren’s visit to Govan today. “We know how important this season is. Every title is important. But in the short term, it’s vital that we qualify for the group stages of Europe again. The players have done ever so well to get the extra place in the Champions League [for next season’s qualifiers] which is very important.
“But having been here two years now, domestic competitions become even more important for myself personally and the group. We are as hungry as ever to put that right. But I’m not in a position where I can prioritise any competition. I’m the manager of Rangers and I’ve got a responsibility to fight for every competition and treat every one of them as importantly as the next.
“I’m aware of the situation we’re in [trying to stop Celtic winning ten-in-a-row]. And I’m aware that it will build. But for me, I don’t think I’ll benefit from getting tense or getting involved in thinking about it. My focus is 100 per cent on trying to get three points against St Mirren then I’ll move on to the next challenge.”
Gerrard has reiterated the need for Alfredo Morelos to remain fully focussed on the Rangers cause in the absence of the expected bid to see his three years at the club brought to a conclusion.
With Cedric Itten in line to feature against St Mirren – Kemar Roofe considered not yet ready to play – the Colombian’s place is under threat following nine outings without a competitive goal in Rangers colours. “He has a fight to keep the shirt,” said Gerrard.
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