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Steven Gerrard happy with Rangers’ increased firepower after double swoop

Aberdeen v Rangers – Scottish Premiership – Pittodrie
(Image credit: Willie Vass)

Steven Gerrard believes Rangers are ready to come out shooting after solving their firepower issues.

It is only two weeks since Gerrard went public with fears that his team did not have enough strength in depth to halt Celtic’s charge for 10 titles in a row.

But the Light Blues board have acted swiftly to ease their manager’s concerns after sanctioning the purchases of Kemar Roofe and Cedric Itten for a combined sum reported to be £8.5million.

Roofe arrives after a year at Anderlecht but previously excelled with Leeds, while Gerrard will hope Switzerland international Itten can replicate the form that saw him notch 19 goals in 34 games for St Gallen last term.

Gerrard said: “I’m extremely happy with the two players we got in yesterday. I made it well known we were quite vulnerable with the options we had prior to getting the two new lads through the door.

“But now we’ve got a lot of options in the forward areas, we’ve got a lot of firepower and I’m really excited about working with them. In terms of the club, they have given us good backing and that has always been the same since day one.

“We’re on the same page in terms of the board and myself and the main thing is to try to improve us as an XI and a squad. With the calibre of player we got in yesterday, it certainly helps us get closer towards that.

“Roofe has incredible quality around the box and is very capable of scoring goals in numbers. Our fans will know more and will have seen more of him because of his spell at Leeds before he moved to Anderlecht.

“But Cedric is one who comes with huge potential. He’s a little younger but has real strong numbers when it comes to goals per game so far.

“The good thing is they can play together in terms of how we play. They fit into our system.

“They are both hungry. They both understand where the club is at and trying to achieve. It’s real positive news for Rangers and I’m delighted to get them done.”

However, Gerrard will not be able to call upon either of his new recruits as they return to Europa League action after a five month hiatus.

It will instead be down to Alfredo Morelos to lead the line against Bayer Leverkusen as Rangers look to overturn March’s 3-1 first-leg defeat at the Bay Arena.

But Gerrard has no concerns about starting the Colombian despite the widely held belief that his days in Glasgow are numbered now that the Light Blues have secured a couple of replacement options up front.

“If it’s a signal for other people there is nothing I can do about that,” said Gerrard. “Alfredo is still a Rangers player. He is with us over here, he’s focused on the game tomorrow and he’ll continue to be a Rangers player until things change.

“The only way things will change is if a bid comes in that the board and myself are happy with.

“At the moment that hasn’t happened, so we move ahead together, we stay professional and we keep trying to get this football club results.

“Alfredo Morelos is our player. He’s the player that I need to focus on. He’s fit, he’s available. He wants to play, he’s ready to play. You’ll see tomorrow whether I decide to play him but I have no issues with using Alfredo tomorrow if that’s what you want to know.”

Rangers need at least three away goals if they are to rescue the tie and set up an unlikely last-eight meeting with either Inter Milan or Getafe.

But Gerrard said: “We’re over here to give everything we’ve got and give it our best shot.

“We know it’s going to be tough, we know the deficit we’re trying to plug, but the plan is to start on the front foot, get the first goal and then make it an interesting tie.”