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Steven Gerrard now desperate to make fast start at Ibrox


Big challenge: Liverpool great Steven Gerrard officially started his role as Rangers manager yesterday
Big challenge: Liverpool great Steven Gerrard officially started his role as Rangers manager yesterday

By Ronnie Esplin

Rangers manager Steven Gerrard is ready to get stuck into his new role after assuming full control at Ibrox.

The former Liverpool and England midfielder officially started his reign as the new boss yesterday, having been unveiled at the start of last month.

Gerrard has the unenviable task of trying to topple Brendan Rodgers' dominant Celtic side.

The club has been busy since the end of the season, finalising deals to bring in Scott Arfield, Allan McGregor and Jamie Murphy to bolster their squad, and Gerrard is excited to begin preparations for the upcoming season.

"June 1 is the day I have been waiting for and I'm absolutely desperate to get started officially in my role as the manager of Rangers Football Club," he told the club website. "Just saying that excites and motivates me so much.

"Although the players won't report back from their breaks until later this month, I'm looking forward to meeting them and also welcoming some new faces to this fantastic club.

"Along with (director of football) Mark (Allen) and my backroom team we have already been working on our plans and strategy.

"We know what we want to achieve and we also know what will be required to meet the challenges ahead, but we will be ready.

"Over the next week or so, I will be engaged in work and activities at Auchenhowie which I hope will be to the benefit of the club.

"We will also be putting the final pieces in place for our pre-season training camp in Spain."

He added: "Having already taken the opportunity to assess our Auchenhowie base and also facilities at Ibrox, we are focusing now on being ready for our first real challenge, a Europa League qualifying tie in early July.

"Everything we do will be for them. It's time now. Let's go."

Gerrard's first official day as Rangers manager has seen the confirmation of former Liverpool fitness coach Jordan Milsom to his backroom staff.

Milsom, who was lead fitness coach for Gerrard's U18s team at Anfield after previously working with the first team, confirmed he has followed the 38-year-old to Glasgow in a social media post.

Gerrard previously confirmed that former Reds team-mate Gary McAllister will be his assistant at Ibrox, with Milsom set to take up the head of performance role at the club.

"Would like to say a huge thank you and goodbye to all of those special people I've worked with at Liverpool for the past eight years," Milsom said on his Twitter page.

"It was a privilege to work for my boyhood club. Now on to a new challenge working for Rangers FC."

Gerrard is currently out of the country on official club business, with the Rangers players set to report back on June 15 before the squad fly to Malaga for 10 days of pre-season training on June 17.

His first official match in charge of the Gers will be in the first qualifying round of the Europa League, with the first leg set to take place on July 12.

Former Rangers assistant manager Archie Knox said Gerrard needs major investment and a squad clearout to close the gap on Celtic.

Knox, who assisted Walter Smith during the 1990s, believes an overhaul is essential to enable Gerrard to get off to a strong start.

"The standard that is needed is to beat Celtic," Knox said.

"When I was at Rangers that was always the target.

"That will always remain the target for Rangers."

Knox added: "Rangers are short in terms of catching up on Celtic with the level of players.

"His biggest task is how he turns it round and gets the players that he wants.

"Does he have that level of money to get whoever he wants to try and make that catch up on Celtic?

"He does need that big investment."

Belfast Telegraph


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