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Steven Gerrard knows there are ‘a lot of twists and turns’ to come for Rangers

St Johnstone v Rangers – Scottish Premiership – McDiarmid Park
(Image credit: Willie Vass)

Delighted Steven Gerrard is taking a glass-half-full approach after declaring himself pleased with the sight of his Rangers team sitting pretty at the Premiership midway point.

The Light Blues have chalked up 17 wins from 19 games so far and have yet to suffer defeat.

Their latest triumph saw Kemar Roofe, Glen Kamara and Ianis Hagi all strike in a 3-0 win over St Johnstone as Rangers maintained their healthy 16-point lead over Celtic with an 11th straight victory.

Gerrard knows there are still some huge challenges ahead but he is more than satisfied with what Rangers have produced so far.

He said: “Yeah we’re very pleased with our form, we’re very pleased with the run we’re on in the league.

“With 19 games gone, to return 53 points is a really good effort from the players. But it’s halfway and there’s a lot of football to be played, a lot of games, a lot of twists and turns.

“The important thing for me is to keep these players focused on the next challenge and that will be tough, because it’s against Hibs.

“The challenge is to keep people fit and healthy and in a good place and in good form. This is a different situation with Covid and this type of stuff, so we need to guard against anything that can come our way.

“But if we keep everyone fit and fresh we’re a good team and we’ll win football matches. That’s the challenge for me, just go game to game. Don’t get too ahead of ourselves and stay balanced.

“The games are coming thick and fast and we have to be ready.”

Roofe tapped home in the 24th minute after Zander Clark spilled a Hagi strike. Kamara then raced onto a sublime pass from man-of-the-match Joe Aribo to add the second.

And Aribo was the instigator for number three as Hagi rammed through the legs of the hapless Clark just 90 seconds into the second half.

“I’m very pleased with that,” added Gerrard. “More pleased that we competed well all over the pitch. We really stood up to the physicality of St Johnstone.

“They are a well organised team, they are right up for it and compete well, so we had to first and foremost match that and at the right times we were very clinical and showed our quality.

“We could have scored a few more goals but all in all I’m delighted with the performance. This was a tricky game for us just before Christmas so fair play to the players.

“The first goal comes from Ianis letting our first shot go. One thing Ianis will do in this team is try through passes, he’ll take risks. He doesn’t mind making mistakes and we don’t so long as he’s trying to do the right thing.

“He unleashes a shot and Kemar shows his real predatory instincts and gets us off the mark.

“I thought Aribo really flexed his muscles tonight and showed he’s back. He’s had a real tough start to the season with a big injury – probably the first of his career – and then a bit of an illness which held him back.

“He’s gone through the gears in the last three or four weeks and he looks close to being back to his best which is really pleasing.

“The through ball, the weight, to see it with the vision. Normally Glen Kamara tries to check back and pass that but he wiped his nose and finished it away.

“I’m pleased for Glen because he could have felt sorry for himself after the weekend but I thought he was outstanding all night.”

Saints’ miserable night was compounded late on when substitute Michael O’Halloran was sent off just five minutes after coming on after collecting two bookings inside 60 seconds.

Boss Callum Davidson said: “Michael has said sorry but it has happened. I had no complaints whatsoever. Michael is an experienced player and he was already booked and I am really disappointed.

“He has to earn my trust to play again. Would you say it was over exuberance, he is nearly 30 and he knows what you need to do in the game and if you have been booked then don’t give the referee the opportunity to give you another one.

“This isn’t the game where it costs us, it will be the next one which is important with the group of players we have.”