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Gerrard has ‘job on his hands’ to prepare Rangers for Malmo

The Rangers manager says his side need to improve quickly after defeat to Dundee United.

Gerrard has ‘job on his hands’ to prepare Rangers for Malmo SNS Group

Steven Gerrard has said that his Rangers side have no time to feel sorry for themselves after losing to Dundee United – and have to improve quickly to keep their Champions League hopes alive.

The Premiership winners had their 40-match unbeaten league run ended at Tannadice, when Jamie Robson’s second-half goal was enough to give United a 1-0 win.

The defeat was the team’s second loss in a row, having been beaten 2-1 by Malmo in the first leg of their Champions League qualifier earlier in the week.

The sides meet at Ibrox on Tuesday and Gerrard said his players have to put the league loss behind them and raise their game, with the manager revealing he had a big task ahead to prepare them for the crucial match.

He said: “We have to accept it, suck the pain up and get ready for the next three days. We have no time to feel sorry for ourselves.

“We’ll have to accept what is coming our way in the next 24 to 48 hours and get them ready for Tuesday night which is possibly the biggest game we’ve had together as a group.

“I’ve got a job on my hands the next 48 hours, for sure. The level of the last two performances won’t be enough, that’s for sure.”

Victorious United boss Thomas Courts revealed that he had an inkling that his team could upset the odds and beat the champions.

“I was really pleased,” he said. “I had a sneaking suspicion after the low of last week that maybe we could do something special this week.

“I don’t know where it came from, I just had a feeling and I think the boys were genuinely outstanding today.

“When you look at a team of Rangers’ quality, you understand that there are multiple players that are going to have to play well, bodies are going to have to be put on the line and you are going to have to see through moments of stress and in terms of a game plan I thought the boys delivered fantastically well.”

Courts said the win was a platform to build on after an opening day defeat at Pittodrie, and that it was a step towards making Tannadice a place where opposition teams dreaded playing.

“This is where we are as a club, when anyone comes to Tannadice, whether it be Celtic, or Rangers, I know it is a cliche, but it has to be a fortress,” he said.

“This is where we have to target three points and if anyone leaves here with three points then they will need to have earned it.”