Steven Gerrard accuses goal-shy Rangers players of 'stitching up' Allan McGregor as he offers blueprint for Euro success

Rangers manager Steven Gerrard has accused his players of stitching up Allan McGregor.

The frustrated Ibrox gaffer said that the team’s inability to put the game beyond second-place Hearts had set the stage for the Gorgie side’s late equaliser and left the former Scotland goalkeeper to carry the can.

“That first half performance will take us to where we want to get to but the second half I don't think we came up with the same intent, urgency. I thought we got a little bit soft as the game went on.”

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While Hearts keeper Craig Gordon will, rightly be hailed for his performance, as the home attack passed up chance after chance, his Rangers counterpart came out flapping at Gary Mackay-Steven’s 90th minute corner, allowing Craig Halkett to head home and cancel out John Lundstrum’s opener.

Rangers manager Steven Gerrard said that his side's performance against Hearts was a mixed bag. Photo by Craig Foy / SNS Group

"The game is about both boxes, you have got to take your chances,” stated the Govan boss. "At 1-0 we had four/five really top chances to go and kill that game. We haven't so we have almost stitched Greegsy up because the headlines will be Allan McGregor should have dealt with the cross but I think we stitched him up because we should have scored the second, the third and fourth goal to kill that game before that moment comes.

"I was frustrated by the outcome because I think we did enough to win the game. We haven't been ruthless in the final third and we paid in the end. I thought Hearts grew into the second half but, first half, we were outstanding.”

It is that level of performance that he is looking for from his team when they host Brondby in the Europa League on Thursday.

“It's a must win game and if we play like we did in the first 45 minutes for 90 I am confident we can get the result that we want but what we can't do is come out in the second half with the same mentality because that didn't look like us.

“We need a few more to follow John because he has been the go-to man certainly over the last four/five games, his consistency levels have been phenomenal. He is epitomising exactly what I want.”

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