IBROX icon Derek Johnstone reckons Steven Gerrard could be an ideal fit for Rangers given the fantastic winning mentality he had as a player.
The countdown is now well and truly on to Gerrard officially beginning as Gers manager on June 1, and it’s safe to say the sense of anticipation is continuing to build.
Johnstone, who spent 15 seasons at Ibrox as a player, winning 14 major honours including two trebles and the 1972 Cup Winners’ Cup, knows a thing or two about what it takes to be successful at Ibrox, and he reckons Gerrard fits that mould perfectly.
“The first thing I was taught when I arrived 48 years ago is this club is for winning things,” he explained. “We aren’t ‘just’ a football club – we are here to win leagues, European trophies and domestic trophies, and you have to have that within your head.
“Never mind thinking every game is different – every game you have to win and have the same attitude, and that is the winning mentality you have.
“You fight for 90 minutes, and even if you don’t get a result you have to give your absolute all. That is what Steven Gerrard did as a player, and I am sure that is what he will try and instil into the Rangers boys as well.
“This is no ordinary club – this is a club which has to win things – and to do that, you need good players, and I think he’s the man to bring these players in.”
The capture of Gerrard has caught the imagination of many, including that of Johnstone, and he reckons, with Gary McAllister by his side, he has what it takes to be a success at Rangers.
He continued: “I’m excited, and I think the whole of the world tuned in when he had his press conference. I thought he spoke very, very well – he’s someone who has been terrific as a player, although because you have been a good player doesn’t necessarily mean you are going to be a good manager.
“But we have a man who has come from a big club with a winning mentality who’s won just about everything.
“I think all that experience playing football will help him as a manager. It’s always going to be important to bring the right man with you, and in Gary McAllister, he looks like a shrewd one as he knows all about Scottish football and about Rangers.
“I’m excited – genuinely excited – and also excited by the players he can bring to the club simply because he has so many friends down south who may want to come and join up with him at Rangers and help us on our way.
“Only time will tell if he’s going to be a huge success, but I have every confidence he will be a huge success next season.”
Johnstone was a Ranger through previous times of managerial change, and he believes the players who are contracted for next season will have been given a huge lift by the appointment of the former England captain.
He added: “The players who are at Rangers just now must be thrilled knowing a man like that is coming in to coach them.
“But they have to say to themselves, ‘are we good enough to play here?’ That’s what every player will be saying, and they will be hoping the answer to that is yes.
“They have got to prove to him they are good enough to play for his team, and I think if you are a Rangers player, you should be excited, but you have to show the manager that you have got to be good enough to play in this side.”