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Keeping Steven Davis is 'an absolute must' for Rangers, says manager Steven Gerrard

 

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Steven Davis is 36 but is still playing a key role for club and country.

Steven Davis is 36 but is still playing a key role for club and country.

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Steven Davis is 36 but is still playing a key role for club and country.

It's now 300 appearances not out for Steven Davis' Rangers career and if his manager gets his way, there are plenty more still to come.

Split across two spells with the Glasgow giants, the Cullybackey man has long been both a key cog in midfield and a fan-favourite at Ibrox.

Now 36, plenty of players would be on the wind-down or even already have the boots resting on a rusty nail in the garage.

Not Steven Davis. No, the Northern Ireland captain continues to star for club and country, having started 16 of Rangers' 24 Premiership games so far in what is already sure to become a landmark, title-winning campaign.

Manager Steven Gerrard knows that, despite his age, Davis has a continuing role to play as the Light Blues look to turn a solitary season of success into a longer-lasting stay at the top.

And it's to that end that the boss is keen to make sure a satisfactory new contract is placed in front of his midfield maestro forthwith, Davis' current deal ebbing to its conclusion this summer.

"He's extremely important both on and off the pitch," Gerrard admitted before Sunday's 1-1 draw with Motherwell, only the third time his side have dropped points this season. "He sets standards that we try and match on a daily basis.

"The level he's playing at, his consistency, his hunger for the game is still there.

"He's a top professional so a lot of people look up to him and follow what he does.

"For me, it's an absolute must that he's here beyond this season."

Davis has now spent six-and-a-half season with Rangers in all, winning three Scottish Premiership titles, two Scottish Cups and three League Cups in his first stint.

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Davis takes a shot in Sunday's 1-1 draw at Motherwell.

Davis takes a shot in Sunday's 1-1 draw at Motherwell.

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Davis takes a shot in Sunday's 1-1 draw at Motherwell.

 

One player who has given Gerrard more headaches than Davis in the early years of his managerial career in controversial forward Alfredo Morelos.

The Colombian has long been linked with a move away from Ibrox but Gerrard insists he isn't likely to let Morelos leave any time soon.

“Alfredo is a guy and a player that I will never give up on because of what he’s given me in terms of goals and the help and support he’s given the team since I’ve been in the door," said the boss.

“I will never give up on my players, that is for sure. He is a challenge, of course. There’s the language thing and I have to treat him differently in terms of that.

“But in terms of his treatment on a daily basis, or the standards we set on and off the pitch, he’s the same as everyone else.

“He hasn’t always got things right. You can’t expect him to be perfect, he’s a human being. But you have to take his age into consideration. He needs a manager and a coaching staff who are going to support him at the right time.

“We want the best for Alfredo in his career. We want to give him that support and that love, like we do for all the other players."

Rangers are now 21 points ahead of Celtic at the top of the Scottish Premiership table, although have played three games more.

Belfast Telegraph


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