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Level-headed Gerrard talks down title tilt

By Andy Newport

Steven Gerrard has refused to heap more expectation on his new-look Rangers side by talking up their Ladbrokes Premiership chances - because they are under enough pressure already.

The Ibrox side kick off their league campaign away to Aberdeen tomorrow.

The appointment of former Liverpool and England skipper Gerrard and his side's unbeaten start to their Europa League qualifying campaign has got the Light Blues faithful dreaming of a long-awaited title tilt.

When the Gers made their top-flight return under Mark Warburton in 2016, it was accompanied by bold - and ultimately foolhardy - declarations that the 54-time Scottish champions were 'Going for 55'.

Gerrard insists he will not make the same mistake as he shrugged off questions about toppling Brendan Rodgers' seven-in-a-row champions.

"It's a difficult question to answer as it's a long season and this is just the start," he said.

"We made a lot of changes for a reason - we felt the squad needed that amount of surgery to help it compete.

"We don't want to put any targets or added pressure on us."

He added: "Every fan, every pundit, every media guy will have his opinion on where Rangers are at the minute. I don't think we need to get involved in that. We have confidence and belief in ourselves. We're trying to create a culture, a winning mentality in the dressing room which helps us grow stronger, but it will take time."

Gerrard is certainly not underestimating the scale of the task facing his team in the Granite City after watching the Dons push Burnley close on Thursday night before suffering Europa League heartache in extra-time.

"Aberdeen looked fit against Burnley," he said.

"But they have played an extra 30 minutes than us and we've got to use that to our advantage.

"I'm really pleased with our fitness levels. We've had two really good tests against Osijek over the last seven days as well as the friendly with Wigan where we could get people up to speed."

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