Morelos is ready to return to top form warns Rangers boss Gerrard

Steven Gerrard believes Alfredo Morelos is ready to rediscover top form after shrugging off his incident hit start to 2020.

Police announced on Monday that a 12-year-old boy has been charged with aiming racist chants at the Colombian during December’s Old Firm clash at Celtic Park.

The 23-year-old has also found himself the focus of added attention on the back of an incident involving his sports car and a television interview which aired with errors on its on-screen translation.

Morelos missed the first three games of the new year through suspension following his Parkhead dismissal then drew blanks against Ross County, Aberdeen and Hibernian.

But he got back on the goal trail on Saturday’s as he headed home his 29th goal of the campaign against Hamilton to help Gers into the last eight of the William Hill Scottish Cup.

Gerrard had held several heart-to-hearts with the striker in the wake of those off-field dramas but and from what he has seen believes Morelos is primed to go from strength to strength.

Gerrard said: “We always support all the players across the board. Family is first for me always, so it’s not just with Alfredo, I’m there for all the players to talk to. My door is always open.

“As a club, from top to bottom we always try to look after all the players, whether they be in the first team or the academy.

“Alfredo’s mindset looked alright at the weekend. He played his part in another win. I thought he looked like he was getting sharper in the Hibs game.

“He finished that game really strong then took that form into the weekend and got his goal, which is always important for a striker.

Ryan Jack could be available for Rangers against Kilmarnock.
Ryan Jack is ready to return from a calf injury for Rangers against Kilmarnock (Andy Milligan/PA Images).

“I had a couple of chats with him after the winter break and he seems like he is OK to carry on playing.”

Goals from Morelos and Joe Aribo at the Foys Stadium were bookended by a Scott Arfield double and Gerrard was pleased to see the rest of his team chipping in as he looks to relieve some of the pressure from his top scorer’s shoulders.

“We’ve spoken on quite a few occasions over my time here on not having a burden on certain individuals all the time,” said the Ibrox boss. “It’s important that the goals are shared out.

“It’s nice to see centre-backs contributing from set-pieces and midfielders and number 10s joining in. Ryan Kent’s numbers are a lot better than last season so if we can get that collectively around the group we’re going to win more football matches and give ourselves a better chance.

“We don’t want to be a team that relies on one or two individuals.”

Gerrard is also set for a further boost ahead of Wednesday’s clash with Kilmarnock with the news Borna Barisic and Ryan Jack could both be available to take on Alex Dyer’s team.

Rangers v Ross County – Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership – Ibrox Stadium
Borna Barisic is a doubt for Rangers’ clash with Kilmarnock due to a thigh injury (Jane Barlow/PA Images).

Left-back Barisic is rated just 50-50 after tweaking a thigh muscle against Hamilton but the Croatia international will be given the until the last minute to prove his fitness ahead of the Rugby Park clash. Jack, however, is ready to return after injuring his calf against Hearts last month.

On Barisic, Gerrard said: “I think he’s got an outside chance for Wednesday night. He won’t train today. We’re going to try to give it as long as we can.

“He will probably have a late fitness test, so at the moment the best case scenario he’s 50-50 right now.

“Ryan Jack is available, however, which is fantastic news.”