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Jones is just another rival for Rangers, says Gerrard

 

Firing line: Jordan Jones is joining Gers but may line up against them
Firing line: Jordan Jones is joining Gers but may line up against them
Alfredo Morelos

By Andy Newport

Rangers will come up against a familiar face tonight in Jordan Jones - the Northern Ireland international who earlier this month signed a pre-contract agreement to join the Ibrox side in the summer.

Gers return to Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership action for the first time since last month's Old Firm victory when they take on Kilmarnock at Rugby Park tonight.

Jones is likely to be in Steve Clarke's Killie line-up, but Rangers boss Steven Gerrard insists his side will not be going lightly on the winger.

He said: "We're well aware of Jordan but where we stand is that he's a Kilmarnock player, so he's the enemy, he's a rival and that's the way we'll treat him.

"I don't think he has got anything to prove but from his point of view he's still got to prove to Kilmarnock that he's still focused and willing to do a job for them.

"But nothing changes for us. We'll treat him as an opponent and with respect if he's playing. But this game is more about Rangers against Kilmarnock than on one individual."

Gerrard, meanwhile, has told Nice boss Patrick Vieira he will be wasting his time making a bid for Alfredo Morelos.

Reports yesterday claimed the Ligue 1 outfit were considering an £8m swoop for the lethal Colombian goal scorer.

With Mario Balotelli rumoured to be heading back to Italy, Nice coach Patrick Vieira views Morelos as the ideal replacement.

But Gers have already knocked back a similar offer for the 22-year-old from their French rivals Bordeaux earlier this season and Gerrard is determined to keep hold of the striker as he looks to partner him alongside new recruit Jermain Defoe.

Now the former Liverpool skipper has warned off his old Arsenal sparring partner Vieira to forget about landing Morelos this month.

Gerrard, who confirmed the signing of Matt Polster will depend on the club securing a work permit for the US international, said: "There's been nothing concrete. At the moment, Alfredo won't be going anywhere.

"But every one of our players has got a price, I'm not naive enough to say they haven't.

"But none of my players will be going out the door certainly in this window, so anyone who is preparing a bid or thinking of a bid will be wasting their time."

However, Gerrard reckons it would be worthwhile for Scottish football chiefs to investigate the introduction of VAR.

The Light Blues manager joined fellow bosses and referees at a summit in Perth last week to discuss the fall-out from a spate of recent high-profile controversies involving officials.

But while he backed moves to help referees with replay technology, he admits those in charge of top-flight sides can do more to help referees by keeping their mouths shut after matches.

"The statistics tell you that VAR helps the officials get more decisions, more big decisions, right," he said. "That suggests it's common sense to look into VAR and try to introduce it at some point. I'm in favour of it.

"But the statistics from the officials are actually excellent when you listen to what they said in the room. They do a very good job, a difficult job, and I think us managers in the heat of the moment have to respect the officials more moving forward and that's what we'll try to do.

"It is tough as we're in pressured jobs and we all want to win - but we have to respect the referees and their livelihoods."

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