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Dublin: 5°C Friday 5 March 2021

Rangers captain begs Steven Gerrard to stay with the club

Doubts surround the Liverpool legend’s future at Ibrox after Saturday’s Scottish Cup exit to Hearts.

Steven Gerrard: may be off at the end of the season.
Steven Gerrard: may be off at the end of the season.
Image: Shaun Botterill

JAMES TAVERNIER, THE Rangers captain, has admitted his team are mentally weak. For this reason, he wants Steven Gerrard to hang around for a third season in Glasgow and toughen them up.

Gerrard’s time in Scotland has been a mixed bag. While he has made Rangers more of a threat, he has yet to win a trophy and has little chance of changing that this season. Aside from trailing Celtic by 12 points in the league, they are also out of both cup competitions, Hearts their conquerors on Saturday.

After that game, Gerrard conducted a somewhat self-indulgent interview, suggesting he may soon be on his way. In response, Tavernier pleaded with the former Liverpool captain, to stay.

“We want him to be here, definitely,” said Tavernier. “He has driven the standards right up and if selected by him we have to deliver. He has given everything to the boys and we have not delivered two seasons in a row.

“We were unlucky in the League Cup final against Celtic but we have now been knocked out in this competition in the quarter-final for a second season. The league was in our hands but we have now given ourselves a mountain to climb. We have lost it again so we are going to look at ourselves as the gaffer has given us everything.

“I know all the boys are devastated. It is something we don’t mean to do. But, we really need to look hard at ourselves. We need to sit down together and see what the right answers are. It has happened too many times now and we need a long, hard look at ourselves. And we need to show the gaffer and the fans how much it means.”

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Hearts beat Rangers 1-0 on Saturday, just days after Rangers had qualified for the last 16 of the Europa League. “It is clear as day the mental strength wasn’t there,” he said. “We didn’t back it up with a performance.

“We are devastated. The lads are finding it hard to swallow. We have let the club down, the fans down, the gaffer down and ourselves down — going from such a high during the week against a very good team to failing to answer questions at a place where we have struggled during the season.

“This has happened two years in a row now as we were knocked out by Aberdeen last year. It is hard to take. I don’t know what it comes down to. We proved we can do it midweek but in the second part of the season we have lacked consistency. Since the break we have let ourselves down too many times.”

About the author:

Garry Doyle

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