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Stephen Craigan: Steven Gerrard knows trophy joy is a must for Rangers

Glory bid: Steven Gerrard will want to be remembered for winning trophies at Ibrox, especially after the board sanctioned signings
Glory bid: Steven Gerrard will want to be remembered for winning trophies at Ibrox, especially after the board sanctioned signings
Stephen Craigan

By Stephen Craigan

Mauricio Pochettino has been in the headlines this week and will be remembered as the man who brought good times to Tottenham Hotspur without ever winning a trophy.

His successor, Jose Mourinho, is the complete opposite and will simply be remembered as a serial winner.

As Steven Gerrard chases his maiden trophy at Rangers, I know the latter is what he will want to be remembered as in years to come.

Success followed Gerrard about in his glittering playing career but replicating it in management is a lot tougher, as many top players have found in the past.

For the Rangers supporters, after years of following their club up and down the country in the lower leagues from Elgin to Ayr, there seems to be a great deal of optimism around Ibrox that the good times are on the horizon.

The fans are enjoying watching their team play, and they feel there is a real zest back at the club. However, they know all too well that success at Rangers is measured by winning major trophies.

Gerrard looks to have got the team on the right track but silverware is what will drive him most.

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He's always very assured and concise in his interviews and doesn't show that the pressure of being successful at Rangers is a burden.

He exudes confidence in what he's saying and that seems to be transferring to his players.

Underneath that steely belief, though, Gerrard will be desperate to get the monkey off his back regarding a major honour.

The much-anticipated League Cup final showdown on December 8 against city rivals Celtic is a real opportunity for him to make his mark on Scottish football.

This will back up the trust and support his board have shown in him.

Making his first final is an obvious improvement after last season's failings in both domestic cup competitions but like all Rangers fans, he will want to lift the trophy.

The importance of winning that League Cup for Gerrard can't be underestimated.

With the Scottish Cup and league title not being decided until May next year, the wait would go on and the pressure would start to build.

Questions may then be asked about his managerial capabilities as he was brought in to win trophies. That would be four opportunities during his tenure with nothing to show.

The board yet again invested heavily over the summer in Ryan Kent and Filip Helander so lifting that Cup would certainly appease them and back their decision to put more money in.

At some stage they will be looking for a return on their investment or the prized asset that is Alfredo Morelos could be sold to plug the financial gap their accounts recently showed.

Newly-appointed director of football Ross Wilson reiterated there is no immediate plans to sell Morelos, however defeat next month could possibly change those plans.

That is the knock-on effect if you're not winning at the top clubs.

Balance sheets are often aided by progress on the pitch or assets are sold - in this case, players.

That is an added extra for Gerrard to deal with but he will have known that when he took the job.

Winning was going to be the only way to keep everyone happy on and off the pitch.

As all previous Rangers bosses will tell you, managerial success in Glasgow is measured by trophies and Steven Gerrard will want to be no different.

Belfast Telegraph


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