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Steven Gerrard: Alfredo Morelos not yet on same level as Rangers great

The star is just one goal behind the club’s European scoring record set by Ally McCoist.

Alfredo Morelos (file pic).
Alfredo Morelos (file pic).
Image: DPA/PA Images

STEVEN GERRARD insists Alfredo Morelos has a long way to go before he can be counted in the same class as Rangers great Ally McCoist.

The Colombian is closing in on Gers’ European scoring record after notching up his 20th strike in continental competition.

The 24-year-old netted twice in a 5-0 drubbing of Lincoln Red Imps in Gibraltar, leaving him just one behind the benchmark set by Ibrox icon McCoist.

He reached his latest milestone on the back of last term’s incredible scoring streak, when he became the first player to ever hit 14 goals before Christmas in a Uefa tournament after notching against the likes of Porto, Feyenoord and Young Boys.

But Gerrard is not ready to gush with praise just yet.

The Ibrox manager pointed out the big difference between the pair can be counted in honours, with McCoist — the Light Blues’ all-time record goal poacher — outscoring Gers’ current chief marksman by 20 winners’ medals to nil.

“Alfredo is a top striker and an incredible finisher,” Gerrard told RangersTV. “You see that especially with the second goal, but the first is just as good for me as he attacks the goal frame.

I’m sure Ally McCoist watching that will be very happy. But there’s a big difference between Alfredo Morelos and Ally McCoist and it’s that Ally McCoist won trophies here.

“He was successful here so we can’t talk about those two players in the same breath – not yet.”

Gerrard’s team were on red alert for an upset after seeing Red Imps stun Celtic at the Victoria Stadium four years ago.

But Gers safely negotiated their way round the southern tip of Spain to set up a trip to Holland next week, where they will face Willem II.

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James Tavernier swept the Light Blues ahead with a sublime free-kick before Connor Goldson nodded a second just before the break.

Kemar Roofe limped off with a calf strain just before the break while Tavernier was kept inside during the interval.

But the changes did not slow down the Glasgow giants in the second half, with Morelos netting either side of a Jermain Defoe strike.

“It was professional, job done and that was the plan coming here,” said Gerrard.

We wanted to get a win, a clean sheet and move on to the next fixture because the next couple of weeks are going to be a lot more important and a lot more difficult.

“Tonight was about getting through. We scored five good goals, kept a clean sheet even though we really didn’t get out of first gear.

“I don’t think it was a good performance. We made it complicated for the majority of it. But we will take a lot of positives in terms of getting people minutes. Jermain Defoe gets a goal, Buff (Morelos) gets a couple.

“I thought the goals were outstanding and it was nice to have the luxury to give people the opportunities to play.

“We’ll take the positives and move on but as for the all-round performance, we didn’t get out of first gear.”

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