Steven Gerrard: Rangers manager hails club unity during Covid absences

Steven Gerrard is proud that Rangers responded to Covid's forced absence by winning key matches.
The draw against Alashkert by the Ibrox manager was not enough to secure progress to the Europa League group stage.

He is now fully recovered and looking forward to Saturday's trip in St Johnstone.

He said, "It's not something that I want to experience again, but you have to cope."

"I enjoy being hands-on. I am there for each session, and I feel that I can help more from the sidelines.

"I can still help with preparation and selection of the team, but it can be difficult to do this remotely.

"For me, what was the most satisfying thing was how we all stayed together. It wasn't me alone that was missing.

"[Coaches] Michael McAllister and Gary McAllister stepped up tremendously and the players followed. It was a sign of our club's strength that we can deal with any kind of adversity.

"I am focusing on the positives in those two weeks, rather than the negatives associated with being sick, in bed with symptoms, feeling sorry for myself, and being sick."

Rangers are "close enough to full strength", with Allan McGregor, goalkeeper, and James Tavernier back with them. However Ianis Hagi was positive for the virus while on international duty with Romania so he will not be able to travel to Perth or the Europa League meeting with Lyon in Glasgow.

Faith in McCrorie & Patterson

Gerrard praised Robby McCrorie after the 23-year old kept clean sheets against Alashkert, Celtic and Jon McLaughlin.

McCrorie admitted that he was "thrown in the deep end", but he said that he had no doubts about using McCrorie at all.

He explained that Robbie has been part of our plans for years and that we believe he is capable of being Rangers number one.

Tavernier was represented by Nathan Patterson in Armenia. Gerrard said that Patterson, who is 19 years old, will be "the number one right-back here when it's right".

He said, "He's also available now to compete for that jersey." He's pushing James every way he can.

Ibrox board 'stay strong'

Gerrard stated that the club's valuation was "way off" in recent bids to acquire the Everton-linked teenage fullback.

He said that he was selfish and wanted to keep the best players. However, he also stated that he understood the business side of things and was prepared for any situation.

"If the bid was right for a player, and the board accepted it, there would have been no resistance.

"This club has received some really healthy bids over the past two or three windows, and to be fair to their board, they have remained strong in those situations."

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