‘We were ruthless and relentless’: Steven Gerrard salutes his players for bouncing back from their Europa League defeat to Spartak Moscow
- Rangers beat Motherwell 7-1 to close the gap on Celtic and Hearts to two points
- Steven Gerrard’s side capitalised on the visitors going down to 10 men
- Scott Arfield and Eros Grezda both scored a brace at to go third in the table
- The Ibrox outfit lost 4-3 to Spartak Moscow in the Europa League on Thursday
Steven Gerrard hailed his Rangers players for answering the call to be ‘ruthless and relentless’ in a 7-1 rout of 10-man Motherwell that moved them to within two points of Premiership leaders Celtic.
The Ibrox outfit capitalised fully on the 35th minute dismissal of Carl McHugh – with the score tied at 1-1 – to rack up the biggest scoreline since Gerrard took charge in the summer.
Scott Arfield and Eros Grezda both netted doubles, with a penalty from James Tavernier adding to further strikes from Alfredo Morelos and Glenn Middleton.
Steven Gerrard was pleased his players were ruthless and relentless against Motherwell
Delighted with the response after Thursday’s Europa League defeat to Spartak Moscow, Gerrard was thrilled to see his team go for the jugular with four goals in a one-sided second period.
‘I am very pleased with the players and the result,’ he said. ‘We asked the players to bounce back today and put on a show for the supporters, we certainly delivered that.
‘That’s what I’ve been asking for right from the start. We’ve used the words “ruthless” and “relentless” and that’s what we were today.
Carl McHugh was sent off for Motherwell in the 35th minute with the score tied 1-1
‘I said to them at half time: “We’re 3-1 up, they’re a man down, what are we going to do?” I asked if they were going to continue to get carried away in a fight and in the emotion of it all or if they were going to be calm, if they were going to play with a precision and a tempo.
‘I told them we would get opportunities to make the scoreline as big as we wanted and the players delivered.’
Rangers have made up ground at the summit after Hearts lost to Kilmarnock on Saturday and Celtic could only draw with Livingston earlier yesterday.
Eros Grezda scored twice for Rangers as they put four past the visitors in the second half
‘Sometimes when you’re playing the last fixture of the weekend and other teams win it adds pressure and you have to handle that and cope,’ said Gerrard.
‘Over the weekend it’s been the opposite. Teams around and above us have given us an opportunity to close the gaps and that really helped us before the game.
‘We told the players to put a performance in that showed they are desperate to stay in touch at the top.’
The Rangers boss said he had to substitute Alfredo Morelos in a bid to avoid a red card
Gerrard admitted he had replaced Morelos in the second half to ensure he didn’t collect a booking that took him through the suspension threshold.
He also revealed Connor Goldson missed out through a chest illness, but stressed it was not connected to the precautionary heart surgery the player underwent last year.
‘He played with it on Thursday night but it got worse,’ added Gerrard. ‘It’s an illness he’s had for a week or two so he should be fine for Livingston (after the international break).’
Connor Goldson missed the game because of a chest illness and not because of his surgery
Rangers have struggled in the past to put real daylight between themselves and defeated opponents, but midfielder Scott Arfield, who opened the scoring and went on to notch a brace, was pleased with the way they managed to get the job done in style against ten-man Motherwell.
‘I think we did similar against Hearts (last month in a 3-1 victory), particularly in the first half, it was high intensity but we came off it a wee bit in the second half…
‘Although we got the victory then we were quite disappointed in the couple of days after that, we thought we could have hit them more.
Scott Arfield also notched a brace and thought the result was down to their high intensity
‘Thankfully we’ve done this here today. We put a statement down for everyone today. We were relentless in our intensity.
‘It’s another reward for us to keep going, to show people what we’re all about.’
Asked if the team still had thoughts of winning title, Arfield replied: ‘At this football club we’re always thinking about that. It’s great to be as close as possible. Let’s see what happens.
‘This football club is built on success and tradition and that’s why I signed up – for this club to be as successful as it can be and to bring the glory days back to this club.’
Source: Read Full Article