Steven Gerrard: Rangers will do all we can to stop 10 in a row

More signings to come as boss hails board
Scotland keeper Jon McLaughlin has joined Rangers from Sunderland. Picture: Manuel Velasquez/GettyScotland keeper Jon McLaughlin has joined Rangers from Sunderland. Picture: Manuel Velasquez/Getty
Scotland keeper Jon McLaughlin has joined Rangers from Sunderland. Picture: Manuel Velasquez/Getty

Steven Gerrard has expressed his delight at the backing he has had from the Rangers board to strengthen his squad and insists the Ibrox club will “do everything in their power” to stop Celtic winning a record-breaking 10th consecutive league title.

Rangers completed their third new signing of the summer yesterday when Scotland international goalkeeper Jon McLaughlin agreed a two-year contract, following the earlier arrivals of Romanian playmaker Ianis Hagi and former Leicester City defender Calvin Bassey.

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Gerrard says other potential recruits have been identified and that, despite the uncertainty caused by the coronavirus pandemic, Rangers are in a position to make further moves in what is likely to be an extended transfer window.

“The board has been fantastic during lockdown,” said the Rangers manager.

“The backing of our supporters has been fantastic – we have sold close to 35,000 season tickets, which is unreal.

“So things are okay from a Rangers point of view. We are in a good place. We are in a position to strike (in the transfer window) but we might have to be patient because of what’s happening at other clubs and in other leagues.

“It’s going to be an unusual transfer window, a unique one. We are still waiting to find out the exact dates when it will start and end and in what form.

“So it might have to be a case of being patient while some leagues are still playing and clubs are not in a position to make decisions.

“The important thing is we are ready in terms of who we have identified. Throughout lockdown, we have been going through all the lists. We know the areas we want to improve.

“I don’t think there will be much volume in terms of new signings. It will be more a case of who we bring in to strengthen the eleven.”

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The narrative for the 2020-21 Premiership season has already been firmly established from Celtic’s perspective as they turn to their quest for 10 in a row, sharpening the focus on Gerrard as he goes into the third campaign of his Ibrox tenure.

“To be honest with you, it is their business what they want to speak about and what they want to say,” he said. “My focus is here on Rangers. I am really looking forward to the new season. We have obviously got to try and do everything in our power to make sure that doesn’t happen.”

Gerrard hailed the capture of former Hearts goalkeeper McLaughlin, the 32-year-old turning down alternative options in England to return north after the expiry of his contract at Sunderland.

“The goalkeeping area in the last couple of weeks has become a priority with Wes Foderingham’s contract finishing and Jak Alnwick going to St Mirren,” said Gerrard.

“We knew there was a void there and we had to go and find the right person. I wanted experience, I wanted a different type of profile for the keeper. Jon brings vast experience. “He has got some international experience, he has played under pressure at Sunderland for many years and delivered. So it is a real safe signing for us. He is also at an age as well where it doesn’t block young Robby McCrorie who we believe has got a bright future here.

“We believe we are close to getting a new deal sorted with Robby. We can try and get him some more experience (out on loan) because we want to get him over the 100 appearance marker as quick as we can and try and get some experience under Robby’s belt because he has got a big future here.”

McLaughlin expressed his satisfaction at a move which will see him challenge Allan McGregor for the number one position at Rangers.

“It’s a very proud moment for myself and for the family,” said McLaughlin. “It is great to be back up here in Scotland and we are very proud to have made the deal happen and I am really looking forward to now getting back to football and starting my next chapter here with an amazing football club.

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“Knowing the club already, and what a massive club it is and what a huge opportunity it could be, and speaking with the manager and his staff, and knowing the vision and the direction they have got, and what they are trying to achieve here, and the opportunity to be a part of that and hopefully be a part of something special here was what sold it to me.”

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