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Steven Gerrard's arrival will give Rangers a massive lift: Graham Dorrans

 

By Andy Newport

Graham Dorrans says Steven Gerrard was one of the best players he ever came up against.

Now the Rangers midfielder admits he is desperate to soak up as much as he can from his new manager.

Former West Brom and Norwich playmaker Dorrans enjoyed a number of run-ins with former Liverpool skipper Gerrard when he was one of the Premier League's biggest stars.

But the pair are now due to link up as player and boss when Gerrard officially takes charge of the Light Blues on June 1.

Dorrans may have turned 31 on Saturday but he says he is not too old to learn from the Champions League winner.

He said: "I played against Steven a few times and he was certainly one of the best players I ever came up against.

"When a name like that comes into the football club it gives the whole place a lift. Steven is a massive figure in the game and the boys are excited and looking forward to working with him.

"It's never nice when a manager has to leave but the new manager has come in now and we're all starting afresh again.

"He has his own ideas and all the boys are excited for him to come in and learn from him. Learning from someone of his stature will be great."

Rangers have two games left to ensure European football will be on the agenda for their new boss next term.

They travel to Aberdeen tonight before finishing the campaign away to Hibernian and know two wins will be required to guarantee they finish as runners-up to Celtic.

Fighting it out for second with the Dons and Neil Lennon's Leith outfit is not what Dorrans signed up for when he returned to Scotland last summer.

But the midfielder stressed it is vital Rangers do not allow their rivals to get the upper hand and risk finishing fourth, which could see them miss out on the Europa League should Motherwell lift the Scottish Cup.

"It's great the new manager has been announced but, at the minute, we've got a job to concentrate on," he said. "We've got two massive games left we need to win to make sure we get into the Europa League.

"Second place for this club isn't really good enough. But the situation we're in at the minute means it's important we try and get it."

Meanwhile, Rangers chairman Dave King has announced plans to launch a new share issue "immediately" with a target of raising £6m in new money.

But King dismissed speculation about new investors.

The South Africa-based businessman remains at odds with the Takeover Panel but decided to press ahead with the share issue after announcing Gerrard as manager last week.

King said: "I met with (company secretary) James Blair on Saturday and we have given the go-ahead for the share issue to commence immediately."

Rangers had received £17.7m in loans from shareholders and other investors by the turn of the year and subsequently borrowed a reported £3m in a short-term finance deal with bankers Close Brothers.

King claims the share issue will see loans converted to equity as well as bringing in fresh finance.

"There will be a balance between the conversion of loans versus raising of new cash," he said.

"At this stage there is nothing external other than existing shareholders and investors. We are not talking to anyone new, who is not there already."

However, Gerrard has not been given a precise figure for a transfer pot which will be available once he starts his new job.

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