STEVEN Gerrard has asked his Rangers squad to “dig in” and be winners ahead of Sunday’s Premiership clash with Motherwell.
The Gers returned from Russia in the early hours of Friday morning after defeat at the hands of Spartak Mosocw in the Europa League. And after the 7000 mile round trip for the game Gerrard knows it will be tough for his team to be prepared perfectly for the visit of Stephen Robinson’s side.
Rangers are looking to close in on the top of the league table after mixed form in domestic competition so far this season. Gerrard’s men are currently on an eight game unbeaten run in the Premiership at Ibrox.
Speaking to the media Gerrard said: “Domestically it is a different challenge for us at the moment because a lot of it is on the back of these big nights and there is big effort going into these games from individual players in the team.
“For me the challenge is to make the players realise how important these games are domestically and that we haven’t got time or preparation time.
“It’s about mentality, it’s about being a winner and digging in and not taking the European exertions as an excuse into the next fixture.
“As a manager you always want more time because you want training time, you want preparation time and you want to go in with maximum energy.
“You want to go in with the fittest squad you have got available but with the fixture schedule we have got at the moment that’s not the case.
“So we are asking players to dig in and dig deep, recover well and be professional and try and cope with the fixture schedule.
“We have got good players who all want to play so we’ll put a team out at the weekend that is capable of getting the right result. We just hope the players go and deliver that for us.”
The Light Blues lost out to agonising final second equaliser when they met Motherwell at Fir Park in August.
It was a six goal thriller for the neutral but Gerrard believes it will be a different type of game on the Ibrox turf.
He continued: “From our point of view we want to defend set pieces a lot better and we hope to get a little bit more luck on the day.
“Obviously we conceded a freak goal from the beginning and we got off on the wrong foot, and then very late in the game we didn’t do our jobs properly from a set piece point of view.
“In general play we played some incredible football and we scored three really good goals, but we predict this game will be different.
“Motherwell’s stadium is very tight and the crowd get right behind them and they make it very difficult for you.
“You always feel that you are under pressure because it is such a tight environment.
“On a big pitch at Ibrox we are in good form and we have made it a very tough place for domestic teams to come so far this season and we aim to try and carry that on.”