Steven Gerrard urges Rangers to hit the ground running after international break as they resume their title push
If there was any team who really didn’t want their momentum disrupted by the international break, it was Rangers.
Before ten of his players headed off with their respective countries, Steven Gerrard’s side were moving along at full throttle with an 8-0 rout of Hamilton Accies keeping them nine points clear of Celtic at the top of the Premiership table.
The Rangers manager is now keen to ensure there is a seamless return to club action for his squad when the title race resumes with the visit of Aberdeen to Ibrox on Sunday.
“It is key and that is the challenge for the players,” said Gerrard. “The important thing for me is to get them back in the Rangers place, to focus back on Rangers and get them away from international duty and a focus on what is going to face us in the coming days.
"All the focus and attention needs to be on Aberdeen. It is a big game. They deserve that attention because they are a good team and they will pose a difficult challenge to us. For me, the players are really looking forward to this. You can feel around the place that there is a confidence and belief about them but it is always a challenge after a break, a couple of weeks break, even when you are in top form. The challenge is can you find that rhythm again as quick as you can.”
Rangers kicked off the current league campaign with a 1-0 win over Aberdeen at Pittodrie back in August which was more dominant than the scoreline indicated. But Gerrard is wary of the danger Derek McInnes’ side – unbeaten away from home in the Premiership so far – can pose to Rangers’ perfect record at Ibrox of seven wins and seven clean sheets in the league this season.
“I think Aberdeen will come to Ibrox with confidence,” added Gerrard. “They are on a good run of form, the Scottish Cup semi-final against Celtic aside, and they have reacted from the defeat against us in the first game of the season and gone on a really strong run.
"They have got players back from injury and the Covid situation they were involved in. I am sure they are going to come and really fancy their chances and with confidence and belief.
"In terms of what we are going to face, we think it will be the same as previous encounters. They will be well organised, physical and they will carry a goal threat like they do. It is a big game and a big challenge for us but we can’t be going into it in a better place ourselves. For me, the focus is always what shape are we in and we couldn’t be in a better place to face this challenge.”
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