STEVEN GERRARD believes his side will have to work very hard to break down a St Johnstone side hurting after five defeats on the bounce.

The Perth Saints have lost to Celtic on three occasions and also to Hearts and Hamilton away since their 1-0 home win over Livingston on January 23, and Gerrard knows the visitors to Ibrox on Saturday will be out to halt this recent disappointing run.

Speaking at this morning’s press conference at the stadium, the manager said: “I think there will be a reaction from St Johnstone.

“Their recent run of results haven’t been how Tommy [Wright] likes it, because he basis his team on clean sheets and defensively being solid. I think they’ve conceded quite a few goals albeit against Celtic in a lot of those fixtures.

“So we are expecting a reaction and we are expecting a tight St Johnstone team who won’t give much away and are really organised.

It will be a good challenge for us and it’s nice to be back at Ibrox on a Saturday with a full house at 3 o’clock. We’re really looking forward to the game.

“St Johnstone had a fantastic run of results before the winter break and they’ve run into tough fixtures since they have come back. But I’m sure after their recent results Tommy will want to get back to defending well and making it hard for us.

“But all I can do is focus on us and hopefully we give the players a game plan to go and open St Johnstone up.

“The quicker we can do it the better, but of course if it doesn’t come we have to stick with it and not get frustrated and go off plan.

“We have to keep believing in what we are doing and hopefully it will come.”

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