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Steven Gerrard not blaming Motherwell for state of Fir Park pitch

Motherwell v Rangers – Scottish Premiership – Fir Park
(Image credit: Andrew Milligan)

Steven Gerrard refused to point the finger of blame at Motherwell after seeing Rangers bogged down during a Fir Park turf battle.

The Lanarkshire outfit usually boast one of the best playing surfaces in the country but Well’s pitch was far from at its best on Sunday when Rangers visited.

Gerrard revealed his team were warned in advance that it would not be up to its usual high standard after taking a battering from the elements in recent weeks.

And the Light Blues boss was making no excuses as he insisted the slippery surface had nothing to do with his team’s laboured first-half display.

Gers went in a goal down at the break after Devante Cole had given the Steelmen the lead and required a Cedric Itten header with 18 minutes left to rescue a point.

Gerrard said: “We had an email off Motherwell to be fair a few days ago talking about the standard of the pitch but we knew that at this stage of the season you’re not going to get perfect pitches.

“Ibrox isn’t perfect at the moment, so it is what it is.

“We have to be ready for these type of environments and these pitches and we have to get on with it and do what we can.

“I don’t think the pitch was to blame for our first 45 minutes because you can’t blame a pitch for being passive and having no quality.

“In an ideal world we want to play on a perfect pitch but at this stage it’s not going to be the case. There’s no fingers pointed at Motherwell because given the weather and the conditions and the country we play in, it is what it is.

“(The email) was just to give us an early indication about the pitch and that if the weather turned we could have an issue, and also to say Motherwell had had to use it for training and it was not in the usual condition.

“It’s normally a fantastic pitch here. It was a heads-up that if we had a period of weather that was bad the game could be 50-50.

“Thankfully the game went ahead. We appreciated the heads-up but it’s nothing for Motherwell to be ashamed of because you see all the pitches are like this. You saw Hibs’ pitch on Sportscene, Celtic Park, Ibrox, I think a lot of people are having issues with pitches because of the weather we’ve had and this stage of the season.”

While Rangers remain 21 points clear at the top of the table, the point could yet prove vital to Motherwell too after they climbed off the bottom of the table on goal difference.

And boss Graham Alexander insists it is more than just centre-backs Bevis Mugabi and Declan Gallagher who deserve praise after frustrating the league leaders.

The former Scotland defender said: “As an ex-full-back I used to hate it when the centre-halves got all the credit, I worked just as hard as they did!

“When those balls came in they were awesome, but the whole team defended well from the front.

“We had to take the two wide lads (Tony Watt and Sherwin Seedorf) off because of tiredness. They had to press and be disciplined in their shape. It wasn’t any tactical thing, we didn’t want to change it. It was just the work they’d put in.

“To play and defend like that you have to have everyone and we had everyone today. Those centre-half boys will recognise that as well.”