Steven Gerrard warns Rangers to beware of their 'blind spots' as they face Benfica test

On his two visits to the Stadium of Light in Lisbon as a Liverpool player, Steven Gerrard trudged off the pitch defeated by Benfica.

Rangers manager Steven Gerrard wants his players to guard against any complacency as they bid to extend their unbeaten start to the season against Benfica in Lisbon on Thursday. (Photo by Alan Harvey / SNS Group)
Rangers manager Steven Gerrard wants his players to guard against any complacency as they bid to extend their unbeaten start to the season against Benfica in Lisbon on Thursday. (Photo by Alan Harvey / SNS Group)

The Rangers manager is fully aware that his team’s unbeaten start to the 2020-21 season, now standing at 18 matches, will come under serious threat at a venue where the Portuguese giants rarely lose.

Gerrard is delighted with both the mentality and consistency of his players since the start of the campaign, keeping a remarkable 15 clean sheets in that unbeaten run which has raised hopes of success both in the Premiership title race and the Europa League.

Rangers: Get the latest team news, match previews and reports

Rangers: Get the latest team news, match previews and reports

But he is urging his squad not to let their guard slip if they want to avoid a shock to the system against the Group D top seeds on Thursday evening.

“Mentality is something we have tried to focus on since day one,” said Gerrard. “I had to change the whole mentality at the club, in all honesty. With experience and with what we’ve been through in the previous two seasons, then for sure it was something we really wanted to focus even more on during the lockdown earlier this year and come the start of pre-season.

“We all know what we have to do. We all know how difficult it is. It’s important that we stay focused and tuned in all the time. We can’t take our eye off the ball at any given moment.

“The challenge is to keep people in form, to remain switched on. When you are in the position we’re in at the moment, you have to keep checking your blind spots. Because you can’t become complacent or you’ll be shocked at any given time.

"Benfica is a club I know well – a high level team with top class technical players. Ever since I first played against them, that’s always been the case. They are a club who can attract top class players and they’ve always had a great mix of local and international players, especially from South America. You always know you’re in for a high level, technical game when you play them.”

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