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Steven Gerrard urges Rangers to ‘finish the job’ as they close in on title

Rangers v Dundee United – Scottish Premiership – Ibrox Stadium
(Image credit: Jane Barlow)

Steven Gerrard admits he is finally allowing himself to dream about Rangers being crowned champions.

But he insists no-one will be getting carried away at Ibrox despite his side closing to within seven points of the title.

The Light Blues boss reckons his team are now “in the zone” after following up Thursday’s thrilling Europa League win over Antwerp with a 4-1 hammering of Dundee United.

The only disappointment for the Ibrox boss was seeing Ryan Jack limp off with a recurrence of his old calf problem.

However, he has had good news on the injury front, with skipper James Tavernier and Kemar Roofe expected back within the next three weeks from the knocks they suffered in Belgium.

Gerrard – who has maintained a one-game-at-a-time mantra this season – was thrilled to see his team take another huge step towards Gers’ first Premiership triumph in 10 years as goals from Ianis Hagi, Joe Aribo, Ryan Kent and Alfredo Morelos made it a perfect 15 wins at home this term.

Asked if had dare to consider how close Rangers were to getting their hands on the championship, he replied: “I think it is normal to think, I don’t think there is any harm to think.

“But the one thing I won’t do is get carried away too soon.

“We have just got to finish the job off. The games are there for us, the opportunity is there for us but the big reminder to myself, staff, players, supporters and anyone else that is covering us is that we have won nothing yet.

“The main thing that has pleased me at the moment is that the players are really in the zone. I can see the focus, I can see the determination.

“The big reminder today is that it is another positive result, another big step, but we have still got work to do.”

Tavernier and Roofe were both forced off in Flanders but Gerrard is hopeful there will be no long-term lay-off for either that pair – nor Jack.

He said: “We’ll check Ryan out in the next 24 hours. We’ll send him for a scan.

“We’re hoping he has reported the injury before it’s become a bigger problem.

“He’s felt some tightness in the calf. But until we get a scan on it we won’t know the extent of it. Fingers crossed the outcome is positive rather than negative.

“James and Kemar will miss the next couple of weeks at least. It’s difficult to put an exact date on their return but all being well we should see them in two to three weeks.”

Aribo scored a second-half stunner to put Gers three-up but only after Allan McGregor rescued them with three key saves.

Gerrard said: “Well I’m sick of talking about Allan because he’s outstanding all the time.

“I’ve said so many times how important he is to us, especially on days like today when you need your keeper to be big on the odd occasion.

“In terms of Joe, the real Aribo is back now.

“At the beginning of the season he suffered the first injury of his career and it was a big shock to the system.

“But now you see the real Aribo. Power, strength, bursts from midfield and skills – and now letting shots go because he’s got the quality.

“It was a fantastic strike and he’s back for real now.”

Marc McNulty fired a late consolation for United but boss Micky Mellon admits his side should have made more of the three big openings they had inside the first half an hour.

“If you’re going to come here and want to be successful, if you create that number of chances you have to take them, simple as that,” he said.

“Walking up the tunnel at half-time I understood why we’re 2-0 down, because you’re playing against the team at the top.

“At times you understand Rangers have players worth millions and they’re going to punish you at some stage.

“But if we perform like today, we will undoubtedly be a force in the Premiership. Standards are getting set all the time and we set a new one today.”