Belfast Telegraph

Home Sport Football

Kilmarnock a cut above as Rangers switch to diamond formation in 2-1 loss

The Ibrox boss ditched the 4-3-3 system that helped defeat Celtic last month.

Steven Gerrard insists the midfield diamond formation was not to blame (Ian Rutherford/PA)
Steven Gerrard insists the midfield diamond formation was not to blame (Ian Rutherford/PA)

Steven Gerrard insists switching to a midfield diamond is not the reason for Rangers’ failure to sparkle at Rugby Park.

The Ibrox boss ditched the 4-3-3 system that helped defeat Celtic last month as he looked to squeeze new signings Jermain Defoe and Steven Davis into the line-up that took on Kilmarnock.

But while Defoe put Gers ahead with a debut strike just 12 minutes in, the new shape did not work as smoothly as Gerrard would have hoped.

But the former Liverpool skipper insists the formation was not to blame for his side’s 2-1 defeat as he instead pointed to the two individual mistakes by Joe Worrall and Ryan Kent that led to Eamonn Brophy and Jordan Jones’ Killie strikes.

“There was a temptation to keep the same team (that beat Celtic) but then if we lost having done that the accusation would have been that we were predictable given they had so much time to work on it,” said Gerrard.

“People will look at the formation and personnel and blame me, which they can, that’s no problem.

“But if we don’t give Kilmarnock two gifts tonight we win the game and people would be saying well done for changing the system.

“That’s football.”

Worrall’s horror blunder saw Killie level just eight minutes after Defoe’s opener.

The on-loan Nottingham Forest defender allowed Brophy to steal possession before beating Allan McGregor but Gerrard felt his side should have responded to that set back better.

He said: “He’s put his hand up for the mistake but we have enough experience out there to react positively from a mistake.

“The worry and the concern was that it had an effect on the 11 until half-time.

“Then we weren’t even able to reset and go again. We just didn’t turn up in the second half.”

Jones was given the nod to start against Gers despite having already agreed a pre-contract switch to Ibrox in the summer.

But he showed his loyalties still lie in Ayrshire with his 66th-minute winner and boss Steve Clarke praised the winger, saying: “Jordan showed he’s a big player for us. He got the move to Rangers that he wanted and he can be a big player for us in the second half of the season.

“It’s nice to see him get a goal as he goes on that run often and it doesn’t always end with a goal.

“Sometimes fans get excited when things like this happen. I know Jordan well and the qualities he has.

“He’s been great for the club for two-and-a-half seasons and I look forward to him being great for this club until the end of the season.”

PA

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph