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Steven Gerrard denies Giroud talk as boss praises patient Rangers

Rangers 1 Kilmarnock 0

Take that: Alfredo Morelos fires home for Rangers
Take that: Alfredo Morelos fires home for Rangers
Manager Steven Gerrard

By Andy Newport

Steven Gerrard praised his Rangers side for refusing to hit the panic button against stuffy Kilmarnock.

Alfredo Morelos was the hero as he climbed off the bench to fire the only goal in the 1-0 Ibrox win.

The Colombian's 65th-minute winner - his 28th strike of the season - came to alleviate the unease sweeping through the Rangers support.

Home fans were starting to grow restless as their team struggled to break down a Killie side who have reverted to Steve Clarke's defensive masterplan under caretaker boss Alex Dyer.

But Gerrard's team kept their cool to clinch the victory that means they go into Sunday's Old Firm clash five points behind Celtic, with a game in hand.

The Ibrox manager - who dismissed rumours linking Rangers with Chelsea striker Olivier Giroud - said: "We have incredible support and, with all due respect, sometimes they just expect you to blow teams away.

"Liverpool supporters were the same when I played there. So it's important to tell the players before the game and at half-time to be patient, continue to believe in what we are doing, not panic or get frustrated.

"I thought we got a little better in the second half, we were shooting more and getting more crosses in. We had purpose.

"Killie set us a challenge, and they made it very difficult for us. We found a way, which is very pleasing.

"I apologise if it didn't look pretty for the supporters, that it wasn't three, four or five goals, but I'm very happy because it's a win and a clean sheet.

"We set out to entertain and for it to look brilliant on the eye. But teams are not going to just allow that every single week."

Had Rangers failed to grab a winner, they would have faced the prospect of falling 10 points behind Neil Lennon's champions with a defeat this weekend.

But now Gerrard says his team are heading to Parkhead with belief they can rein in the leaders.

"We have a game in hand, so I'm not really too concerned about gaps," he said. "I'm concerned with my team winning.

"We are going to Parkhead in good form and good shape. We know it will be a very tough match, but we played Celtic a few weeks ago and put on a good show. I expect us to go there with confidence and belief."

Killie have now lost four games on the spin and are without a goal in their last five.

But interim boss Dyer said: "We were outstanding. They were very good. Everyone worked hard, they were confident, I was chuffed with them."

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