Rangers boss Steven Gerrard sends strong 'army' message to suitors

Rangers manager Steven Gerrard has declared his determination to keep his Premiership title-winning squad intact this summer with a firm ‘hands off’ message to potential suitors.

Rangers manager Steven Gerrard with his Premiership winners' medal during the celebrations after their 4-0 win over Aberdeen at Ibrox. (Photo by Craig Williamson / SNS Group)

A jubilant Gerrard, his hair soaked in champagne after the trophy lifting celebrations which followed the 4-0 win over Aberdeen at Ibrox, is already targeting more success with the team he has built over the past three years.

While several of his key players are sure to attract interest from other clubs, Gerrard struck a defiant tone when asked how difficult it will be to retain them all.

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“Let me flip the question for you,” said Gerrard. “If anyone wants to take them away from me, they best bring an army with them.”

Jubilant Rangers players celebrate as captain James Tavernier holds up the Premiership trophy. (Photo by Craig Williamson / SNS Group)

As he savoured his first major trophy as a manager, Gerrard stressed it has stoked his appetite for more.

“I want to enjoy this moment because it's been a long time since I've smelled this success and the champagne,” he said.

“I absolutely stink (of champagne) right now. It feels really good and I want more of it.

“I'm as hungry as anyone. It's in my DNA to go on and fight for more. That's what I've tried to instil in my players since day one. It's about getting their mentality into the right place to win and I believe I can do that.”

Rangers finished 25 points clear of Celtic as they completed an undefeated title-winning season with a new club record of 102 points.

“Some of the numbers the players have posted this season have been really impressive,” he said.

“But when the dust settles, we’ll hit reset to go again, and the stats will probably go against us because they’ll probably add pressure.

“The expectation will go up but that’s what happens at a club like this. But we’ve done it in style. We’ve done it early. But even when you do it and it’s done you still enjoy the special day when you lift the trophy.

“The players deserve all the plaudits for it, they just needed the guidance. And as a staff we have given them a way of playing and an environment and culture to grow and express themselves.”

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