Calls to secure Gerrard’s future after title win
Steven Gerrard : ‘an incredible high’ (pic: Rangers FC)
An emotional Rangers coach Steven Gerrard tonight spoke of his delight at winning his first silverware as a manager and his hopes of further success in the Europa League.
The former Liverpool and England captain was overcome after Celtic’s goalless draw at Tannadice sealed Rangers’ 55th title – a world record – and there were immediate calls for the board to secure his long term future at Ibrox.
He told rangers.co.uk: “It is very difficult to put into words right now. I’m on a real, emotional high and it has been a journey that is not finished.
“There is more to come and the next thing for me, when you win, it is always about what is next, and I am so proud of the players first and foremost – they are the most important people inside the club.
“But they are not as important as the supporters – they are what makes this club and it is for them and we have been down at times, really low at times, but this is an incredible high.
“It has been an incredible journey we have been on and we deserve it. I would just like to thank the board for the support they have given me – each and every one of them – and everyone who has given me the backing to go and do the job I needed to do and everyone connected to the club who is here now deserve to enjoy this.
“And even the people that have been here and represented it that aren’t here anymore, people that have been and gone deserve to enjoy the part that they have played.
“This has been a team effort and a collective effort – it is a monumental achievement and I am just so proud to be the manager of that.”
He continued: “We are in March and I need them to keep delivering until the end of the season.
“We need to enjoy this and get ourselves ready for the next challenge. Glasgow Rangers is about winning and we all live under that pressure, and that responsibility, but it is about what is next and it is about me getting these players ready for what is next.
“I want to get into the last eight of the Europa League and that is the next challenge and the focus is very much on that.
“But everyone deserves to enjoy their time, no more importantly than the supporters – the supporters deserve this for what they have been through.”
A club statement today paid tribute to the Rangers supporters.
“It’s title number 55 for the club – the most of any football club in the world – and the first in 10 years following one of the most arduous decades in the club’s history.
“There is little doubt today’s success can be put down to the unbelievable loyalty of the Rangers support – you stood by this club in its hour of need, and you deserve this success as much as every member of Steven Gerrard’s players and backroom staff, Ross Wilson, Douglas Park and the club’s board.”
The club’s success marks the pinnacle of a remarkable turnaround after a controversial demotion to the fourth tier over financial irregularities in 2012.
Despite being in the Premiership since 2016-17, Rangers have encountered a formidable Celtic team which have won four trebles.
Rangers are now expected to address Gerrard’s future. He was appointed in May 2018 and the fans’ patience has been repaid in some style, with 77 goals scored so far and just nine conceded en route to winning 28 matches and yet to lose in the league with six games left to play.
However, the Liverpool legend has been linked with a return to Anfield as successor to Jurgen Klopp who has seen his team fail to live up to last year’s title winning campaign.
A record-breaking consecutive sixth home defeat today on the same day as the club’s former skipper clinched the Scottish title will only raise the stakes.
It did not go unnoticed that Klopp and Gerrard signed contract extensions with their current clubs that are due to expire on the same date.
Former Rangers player Lee McCulloch said: “The club hit rock bottom. It’s been a slow climb back up, but today is all about Steven Gerrard and his squad.
“The changes Steven has made, the leadership he’s shown, the recruitment, on and off the pitch, the club has been fantastic.
“The fans and board will be desperate for Gerrard to stay and go for another league title.”