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Gerrard praises ‘mature’ performance as Rangers beat Celtic

The Rangers manager says his players executed their game plan well.

Gerrard praises ‘mature’ performance as Rangers beat Celtic SNS Group

Rangers manager Steven Gerrard believes a “mature and controlled” performance was the key to their derby win at Celtic Park.

A goal in each half from defender Connor Goldson gave the visitors a 2-0 win and stretched their lead at the top of the table to four points, though Celtic hold a game in hand.

Gerrard was understandably delighted with the scoreline and passed the credit on to his players.

“I’m extremely happy with the outcome,” he said. “It was a fantastic result and three important points, which is what we’ve come for.

“We gave the players a game plan in quite a short space of time. It wasn’t too much different from what we’ve been doing against this type of opposition who are good. The players have gone out and carried it out with a mature and professional performance.

“We’ve been relatively quiet throughout the 90 minutes considering what you normally face here and the players deserve credit for the three points and the performance.

“I don’t think we were at our fluent best but we were really mature and controlled in what we did today.”

The Rangers manager said his team didn’t have it easy against a Celtic side who put in a lacklustre performance and failed to register a shot on target. But he was reluctant to put the result down to Celtic missing players, pointing out that he was missing players as well, and that Celtic had valuable players on the pitch.

“I don’t think you ever expect a straightforward game coming here,” he said. “Celtic threw everything at us today but you talk about people being missing but we had Kemar Roofe sitting in his house today and we couldn’t start Joe Aribo. We’ve had issues of our own for five or six weeks.

“Celtic have thrown quality players at us all the way through the game. David Turnbull cost £3.5m, Patryk Klimala cost £3.5m, Albian Ajeti cost £5m, their keeper’s worth £5m.

“We haven’t played a Celtic team with issues, we’ve played a strong Celtic team. We’ve beaten a strong Celtic team.

“We move on to the next game. We need to be humble and respectful. We know what we’re chasing and Celtic are the team to catch. The big challenge for us is can we maintain it for the full season?

“I’m pleased with the start we’ve made, I’m happy with where we are. We’re in a good place but things change and you get tested and challenged throughout the season.”