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Gerrard reveals frustration at missing games after Covid outbreak

The Rangers boss was at home as his team beat Celtic and drew with Alashkert.

Gerrard reveals frustration at missing games after Covid outbreak SNS Group

Rangers manager Steven Gerrard has revealed his frustration at missing key games after a Covid outbreak at the club.

But he said the experience showed him the strength and togetherness of his staff and players.

Gerrard was at home as his side clinched qualification for the Europa League group stage with a draw against Alashkert, and then beat Celtic at Ibrox in the first derby of the season.

Asked how he had coped with an enforced absence for such crucial matches, the manager said: “You’ve got no choice but to cope.

“It’s not ideal and it’s not something I want to experience again.

“I came here to manage from the sideline and I feel I can be a help from the side. I like to be hands on and I’m here for every session.

“I could still obviously contribute in terms of the preparation and picking the team and making the decisions but to do that remotely can be frustrating.”

Squad absences meant that Gerrard had to cope with selection questions and other issues, with Allan McGregor, Jon McLaughlin and club captain James Tavernier among those isolating. He found that the way that people rose to the occasion made the difference.

Gerrard said: “I think the most pleasing thing for me, and what made me most proud, was how we all stuck together in challenging times.

“It wasn’t just me that was missing, there was a few other staff members and some players were ruled out and we were really tested to the maximum.

“I thought Michael and Gary stepped forward tremendously well and the players followed them.

“From the outside looking in, it showed the strength of us as a club to deal with adversity when we were pushed. We coped extremely well.

“I’m trying to look at the positives of that two weeks, rather than the negatives of being in bed with symptoms and feeling sorry for yourself.

“I had no choice but to just cope and get on with it.”

Gerrard’s return to the dugout is for this weekend’s Premiership match against St Johnstone and he expects Callum Davidson’s side to provide robust opposition.

He said: “Callum has proved here he is a top coach and a good manager, he has had instant success and that is down to how he sets his team up, how organised they are and what his players give him, which is real honesty.

“They are prepared to put their bodies on the line for Callum and within that they have some talented lads as well who can hurt you and they try to force mistakes out of you. So we have to be at our best to get three points.”