Steven Gerrard plays down 'trash talk' touchline clash with John Kennedy in Rangers' 2-0 Scottish Cup win over Celtic
In the closing stages of Rangers’ 2-0 win, there was a heated exchange of words between the pair at the edge of their technical areas.
“Listen, there’s a lot of trash talk on the pitch,” said Gerrard. “At times, there is trash talk on the sides. Sometimes that’s Celtic’s fault, sometimes that’s our fault.
“Emotions are running high, there’s a lot at stake. It is what it is but it’s not the first time that’s happened, is it?”
Asked if any particular incident had sparked his clash with Kennedy, Gerrard replied: “No, I’m not going to give you any headlines on that one.”
Gerrard was hugely satisfied by his team’s performance as a 10th minute opener by Steven Davis and a Jonjoe Kenny own goal had them in control before half-time. Rangers will now face St Johnstone at Ibrox in next weekend’s quarter-finals and are hot favourites to lift the Scottish Cup for the first time since 2009.
“I thought we were really strong and we delivered under pressure again,” said Gerrard. “We had a really strong mentality about us, everyone was in line with what we needed today. We challenged them from an individual point of view and they all delivered.
“We have been questioned in recent years about mentality and consistency, and rightly so because sometimes we have come up short. But this season, so far, there is only St Mirren in the League Cup where you can be critical and that was on me.
"From a league point of view, we won it in March, which is unheard of, and now it is about keeping our standards and performance levels for as long as we can and all the way to what will hopefully be (the Scottish Cup Final on) May 22.
“When I look around the group, the dressing room and the bus, I have got plenty of hearts beating behind me, plenty of them in abundance. No-one can ever doubt my players in that capacity when you are talking about endeavour, heart, desire. We have got loads of that.”
Gerrard was full of praise for 19-year-old right-back Nathan Patterson and also hailed central defenders Connor Goldson and Filip Helander for nullifying the threat of Celtic striker Odsonne Edouard.
“If there is a better right back in the country on form, I would like to see it,” he said of Patterson.
“He emptied the tank for us today and his performance was outstanding. He has become a man in a short space of time.
“They (Goldson and Helander) were both solid. Edouard is a top player who’s had a lot of joy and success here. You have to be at your best to handle him. That was the responsibility and challenge we gave those two and I thought they stood up to it.
“They used their arms well, they kept him facing his own goal. He had one or two moments, but he is always going to because he’s a top player.
“If you are to beat Celtic, you have to control Edouard and thankfully over the course of the 90 minutes we did enough.”
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