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Gerrard sees ‘twists and turns’ to come for Rangers

The Rangers manager says he's delighted with his team's form at the half-way point.

Gerrard sees ‘twists and turns’ to come for Rangers SNS Group
Gerrard says his side are in a good place right now.

Rangers manager Steven Gerrard applauded his side after their win over St Johnstone kept their 16-point Premiership lead but warned that there would still be “twists and turns” in the title race.

Kemar Roofe, Glen Kamara and Ianis Hagi all found the net in the 3-0 win that gave Rangers 17 wins from the first 19 games of the Premiership season.

Though Celtic have three games in hand, the Ibrox side hold a significant lead but Gerrard doesn’t want anyone to get comfortable.

“We’re very pleased with our form, we’re very pleased with the run we’re on in the league,” he said.

“With 19 games gone, to return 53 points is a really good effort from the players. But it’s halfway and there’s a lot of football to be played, a lot of games, a lot of twists and turns.

“The important thing for me is to keep these players focused on the next challenge and that will be tough, because it’s against Hibs.

“The challenge is to keep people fit and healthy and in a good place and in good form. This is a different situation with Covid and this type of stuff, so we need to guard against anything that can come our way.

“But if we keep everyone fit and fresh we’re a good team and we’ll win football matches. That’s the challenge for me, just go game to game. Don’t get too ahead of ourselves and stay balanced.

“The games are coming thick and fast and we have to be ready.”

The quality of the goals was particularly pleasing for Gerrard as he reflected on a game where he felt his players showed real competitive edge.

“We could have scored a few more goals but all in all I’m delighted with the performance. This was a tricky game for us just before Christmas so fair play to the players.

“The first goal comes from Ianis letting our first shot go. One thing Ianis will do in this team is try through passes, he’ll take risks. He doesn’t mind making mistakes and we don’t so long as he’s trying to do the right thing.

“He unleashes a shot and Kemar shows his real predatory instincts and gets us off the mark.

“I thought Aribo really flexed his muscles tonight and showed he’s back. He’s had a real tough start to the season with a big injury – probably the first of his career – and then a bit of an illness which held him back.

“He’s gone through the gears in the last three or four weeks and he looks close to being back to his best which is really pleasing.

“The through ball, the weight, to see it with the vision. Normally Glen Kamara tries to check back and pass that but he wiped his nose and finished it away.

“I’m pleased for Glen because he could have felt sorry for himself after the weekend but I thought he was outstanding all night.”

Defeated St Johnstone manager Callum Davidson said that Michael O’Halloran will have to earn back trust after the attacker was sent off for a second yellow card just five minutes after coming on to the pitch as a subvstitute.

“Michael has said sorry but it has happened,” he said. “I had no complaints whatsoever. Michael is an experienced player and he was already booked and I am really disappointed.

“He has to earn my trust to play again. Would you say it was over exuberance, he is nearly 30 and he knows what you need to do in the game and if you have been booked then don’t give the referee the opportunity to give you another one.

“This isn’t the game where it costs us, it will be the next one which is important with the group of players we have.”