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Focusing solely on Bhoys would be big mistake, insists Gerrard


Keen focus: Steven Gerrard is relishing his task at Ibrox
Keen focus: Steven Gerrard is relishing his task at Ibrox

By Andy Newport

New Rangers boss Steven Gerrard insists he cannot allow himself to be obsessed with catching Celtic as there is too much work for him to do at Ibrox.

The former Liverpool captain met up with his full squad for the first time as they returned for pre-season training yesterday.

His priority is to get them fit for his debut campaign, and he said that, and not closing last season's 12-point gap to their Old Firm rivals, was his focus.

"It is important not to be obsessed with Celtic. I have to sort Rangers out," he said. "There are things we need to improve on.

"Brendan (Rodgers, Celtic manager and his former boss at Liverpool) sent me a message just after the announcement and we exchanged a few messages.

"It is very disrespectful just to focus on one team, especially when you finished third (behind Aberdeen) and Hibernian were breathing down your neck.

"I wouldn't be doing my job properly if I was focusing on the other teams. There will be a time and a place to focus on those teams, but right now my priority is Rangers and trying to improve certain things so I can take the challenge to everyone."

Gerrard will face Celtic in his fourth match of the campaign, making his debut at Aberdeen.

Gers fly out to a Spanish training camp tomorrow and recruitment is well under way with Croatian defender Nikola Katic and Brighton centre-back Connor Goldson added to the permanent signings of Burnley midfielder Scott Arfield, goalkeeper Allan McGregor and Jamie Murphy.

Gerrard also returned to former club Liverpool for a loan deal for youngster Ovie Ejaria.

He added: "The work has already begun and I am excited to get going."

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