Rangers kick off Scottish Premiership campaign next Saturday against Aberdeen, live on Sky Sports Football
Last Updated: 25/07/20 10:35pm
Steven Gerrard has dismissed reports linking him to the Bristol City job but has warned the Rangers board that he still needs to strengthen his squad just a week before the new season kicks off.
The Rangers boss was speaking after watching his side maintain their blemish-free pre-season record as they rounded off their friendlies with a 2-0 win over Coventry at Ibrox.
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Goals from Joe Aribo and Connor Goldson secured the win for Rangers ahead of next weekend’s Scottish Premiership curtain-raiser against Aberdeen, live on Sky Sports.
However, despite seeing his team net 10 goals without reply in their four public friendlies – which included impressive wins over French sides Lyon and Nice – Gerrard admits Rangers are still short and says they need to add to their squad.
Gerrard has been given the funds to make Jermain Defoe and Ianis Hagi’s loan deals permanent, while Calvin Bassey, Jon McLaughlin and Leon Balogun have also arrived, but the former Liverpool skipper has called on the club’s hierarchy to back him in the transfer market as they attempt to wrestle the title from Celtic.
“We need more,” he said. “I have told the club that, I’ve been honest and open with what I feel we need.
“In terms of where we are at from a financial point of view, they are questions for other people – but I have made it quite clear that we need to add to what we’ve got.
“We need to add players into the 11 to make us stronger and then, naturally, that will make the squad stronger. At the moment, we still need to get people in the door.”
The most pressing area of concern continues to be up front. Alfredo Morelos again cut a frustrated figure against Coventry as he failed to find the net for the fourth game running while Gerrard is still waiting for the results of a scan on the hamstring injury Defoe sustained against Motherwell.
“Normally with the hamstring and Jermain’s age, you’re looking at a minimum of two weeks but we’re not too sure just yet,” he said. “That’s the one area that’s giving me a slight concern as we haven’t got enough numbers in that area. But we are actively looking to try to add in that area.”
Gerrard also dismissed the idea that he could be leaving Glasgow, with reports suggesting that Bristol City have been targeting the Englishman for the past week.
“I am content here, I’m happy,” he added. “My people haven’t heard anything from Bristol City, so I think it’s just paper talk and rumours.”
Aribo has been Gerrard’s stand-out performer since lockdown was lifted and he opened the scoring against Coventry with a carbon copy of his strike against Motherwell last week, combining with Morelos on the edge of the box before prodding past Marko Marosi.
Rangers sealed their victory over the Championship side on 67 minutes as Goldson’s towering leap saw him glance home from a James Tavernier free-kick.
And Gerrard expects to see more from Aribo after another impressive pre-season showing, saying: “Wherever we play Joe he always tries to make things happen.
“He’s come back in a fantastic place. He’s come back fitter, he’s come back focused and all I ask is that he takes his pre-season performances into the season because if he does, he’s going to be a major help for us.”
Sky Sports, the new home of Scottish football, will show every club in the Scottish Premiership live in the opening month of the new 2020/21 season.
The new season kicks off on Saturday August 1, with Steven Gerrard’s Rangers up against Aberdeen in front of theSky Sportscameras. Champions Celtic will host Hamilton live on Sky on Sunday August 2, with Motherwell’s trip to Ross County also selected from the opening weekend.
Sky Sportswill be the only broadcaster to offer live coverage of the Scottish Premiership, with up 48 games available over the campaign.