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Gerard vows to keep doing it for the fans

Rangers 5 Ross County 0

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Jack the lad: Rangers’ Ryan Jack celebrates scoring his side’s fourth goal of the game against Ross County

Jack the lad: Rangers’ Ryan Jack celebrates scoring his side’s fourth goal of the game against Ross County

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Steven Gerrard sends out instructions during Rangers’ 5-0 win over Ross County

Steven Gerrard sends out instructions during Rangers’ 5-0 win over Ross County

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Jack the lad: Rangers’ Ryan Jack celebrates scoring his side’s fourth goal of the game against Ross County

Steven Gerrard has not given up hope that the Rangers faithful will be allowed to pack into Ibrox in time to see his team crowned champions.

The Light Blues are now just nine wins away from claiming the club's first league title in a decade, but so far the Ibrox legions have been forced to watch their team's relentless march to Premiership glory from home due to coronavirus restrictions.

Gerrard saw his old side Liverpool lift their first league championship in 30 years in front of an empty Anfield last season, but he hopes it will be a different picture for Rangers in the weeks ahead.

"It's not ideal, but it's where the world is right now," said Gerrard after marking his 150th game in charge of Gers with a 5-0 romp over Ross County.

"We really feel for the supporters not being able to come and watch the team.

"They follow us near and far. They've done that for many years before I came here.

"We're trying to do them proud as much as we can. From game-to-game we'll keep trying to do them proud.

"We know they're with us in a different way, but we have to accept where the world is right now.

"It's fantastic to see the (virus) numbers are improving and dropping.

"Hopefully at some point in the near future it will be safe to return them because they play such a big part here.

"That's what this club has been built on and what it's about - the fantastic support.

"We want them back as soon as possible."

Gers had five different names on the scoresheet as Ryan Kent, Filip Helander, Joe Aribo, Ryan Jack and Connor Goldson all found the net against the Staggies.

"It's fantastic to have two goals from set pieces, two headed goals from the centre-backs and a clean sheet," added Gerrard.

"The Jack goal I thought was our best goal because it was a team goal and it's what we work for every day in terms of style.

"Joe Aribo is back for real when he's scoring goals like that. He's out at the corner flag and then he's putting it in the top corner. That's what we all know he's capable of.

"To have five different scorers is always fantastic, but that has been the case since the beginning of the season.

"We're not heavily reliant on just the one person.

"That's where we needed to get to as a group because, over the course of 60 games, it doesn't work if you're just relying on one or two."

Meanwhile, Gerrard admits he may have to tinker with his rampant Rangers line-up as he prepares for a pitched battle at Easter Road.

The runaway Scottish Premiership leaders will be looking to take another step towards the title when they travel to Edinburgh to face Hibernian on Wednesday night, but Gerrard is concerned his side could get bogged down against Jack Ross' team after flagging up the state of the rutted Leith playing surface.

Ross admitted after last week's win over Kilmarnock that it was "nigh on impossible" for his flair players to dribble with the ball on the potholed pitch, but confessed there was little the Hibs ground staff could do to bring it up to standard.

And Gerrard says the bumpy turf will be one of the deciding factors as he works out his starting XI.

He said: "I don't think the playing surface looks too good on the eye from what I've seen in recent games that I've watched.

"Will I take the pitch into consideration when deciding my team? I take everything into consideration all the time. I look at all the details.

"We always try to pick a team that is capable of winning the game, of course, but certain things you have to take into consideration around that as well."

Ross could barely contain his anger at seeing Hibs blow their chance to lift the Betfred Cup after crashing 3-0 to St Johnstone in Saturday's semi-final.

But Gerrard is full of respect for a side still battling for a third-place finish in the league.

The Ibrox boss - whose unbeaten team could be crowned champions by the start of April - said: "Hibernian are a good team and they are never going to make it easy for you by rolling over and allowing you to just beat them.

"They have always been one of the strongest teams in this league, even when I've been looking in from afar.

"They've recruited well, got a good manager. It will be a challenge, it will be a test.

"But we're in a good place, we're looking forward to it.

"We have been there and won before. I thought we should have won the last game in September if we had have taken our chances.

"And we know what we have to do to get what we want out of that game.

"We're going to need a similar level of performance that we got today for sure because they are going to do everything they can to be the first team that beats us this season from a league point of view."

Rangers: McGregor, Tavernier (Patterson 70), Goldson, Helander, Barisic, Davis (Jack 61), Kamara (Zungu 61),Hagi,Aribo (Itten 62), Kent, Morelos (Defoe 62).

Subs Not Used: Bassey, Roofe, Balogun, McLaughlin.

Ross County: Laidlaw, Morris, Iacovitti, Hjelde, Naismith, Draper (Tillson 71), Vigurs (Andreu 70), Lakin (Charles-Cook 59), Randall (Watson 53), Paton (Hylton 59),Shaw.

Subs Not Used: Gardyne, McKay, Donaldson Munro.

Referee: Euan Anderson (Scotland).

Man of the match: Ryan Kent

Match rating: 7/10

Belfast Telegraph


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