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Pressure on Rangers is an opportunity which we’ll embrace: Gerrard


No move: Connor Goldson is settled at Ibrox, says his manager. Credit: Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

No move: Connor Goldson is settled at Ibrox, says his manager. Credit: Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Getty Images

No move: Connor Goldson is settled at Ibrox, says his manager. Credit: Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Rangers manager Steven Gerrard is confident his men can handle the heat of being defending Scottish Premiership champions.

In the 2020–21 campaign, Rangers cruised to their first top-flight championship success in 10 years, a world record 55th Scottish league win.

It also stopped rivals Celtic on their quest to break the domestic record by winning 10 top-flight league titles in a row.

And Northern Ireland skipper Steven Davis was instrumental in the Gers’ dominance of Scottish football.

Gerrard’s men begin their Premiership defence against Livingston today at Ibrox (1.30pm).

“The players need to remain humble and grounded and keep that level of consistency we’ve been playing at over the last 12 months, which has been at a real, real high level,” said the Liverpool legend.

“The evidence on what I’ve seen in training and over the weekend is the players look ready to go again.

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“We have got a near enough fully fit squad besides Alfredo Morelos and Ryan Jack. In the coming weeks we should have everybody fit and available, so we are in a good place to go and attack this season. It’s a really exciting time.

“We aren’t talking about pressure. Everyone is excited and talking about the excitement of going into the new season.

“We are really looking forward to the challenges ahead in the next couple of weeks. We have a couple of league games and an important cup game domestically.

“We want to start domestically really well and sandwiched in between those games are two massive Champions League qualifiers, so what a time and what a moment to be involved with this club.

“We very much see the pressure as an opportunity and we want to really embrace it, and look forward to it with excitement rather than fear.”

Responding to a report that suggested Connor Goldson had agreed a three-year contract extension, Gerrard would only go as far to say that the 28-year-old English centre-half is “really happy” and “settled” at Ibrox.

He added: “Myself and Connor have a really strong relationship. Connor is in a good place. There is nothing to report on Connor’s contract situation at the moment, but there is certainly no panic or worry as far as I’m concerned. What will be will be, and when the time is right I’m sure Connor will be ready to sign it.”

Gerrard also admitted the signing of Charlie McCann is “close” but stressed that, although the 19-year-old midfielder currently with Manchester United is “a strong talent”, he will initially be “a B-team signing”.

“The squad is really strong as it stands, and if there is not a need to add to it I won’t do it,” he added.

“It’s something we’ll consider in the coming weeks and see how we start the season and see how the qualifiers go. It might be something we consider at the back end of the window.”

The future of Rangers’ Northern Ireland ace Jordan Jones though remains uncertain.

League One trio Ipswich Town, Sunderland and Wigan Athletic have been linked with a move for the winger, while Championship outfit Blackpool are a fourth club said to have an interest in signing the 26-year-old.

Jones joined Rangers in 2019 after signing a pre-contract agreement from Kilmarnock but has struggled to make a lasting impression on the side.

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