STEVEN Gerrard says Rangers won’t be motivated by league position when they head to Tynecastle this Sunday.
The Light Blues can top the Premiership with a win in the capital but the manager insists his players will approach the game as they would any other.
Gerrard is predicting a tough afternoon at the hands of the Jambos, who his side beat 4-1 at Ibrox in October, but is confident he can leave with three points.
Speaking to the media he said: “Yes, it would be very nice if that by the end of the weekend we are sitting top of the table, it would be fantastic.
“You get nothing for that (being top of the league) because there’s a long way to go in the season and a lot of football to be played, but it’s a good incentive for the players.
“We want to be competitive in every single game. Hearts is the next game, there’s an opportunity to go to the top of the table because Celtic and Aberdeen play in the Cup Final.
“I’d much rather be in the League Cup Final, but it is what it is, we go to Hearts, it’ll be a tough game.
“Craig (Levein) has got the team flying really high, they’ve had some injuries of late which has affected their form, but they’ve had a great season so far, so we are under no illusions that it’s going to be a tough game.
“It’s an intense crowd, really close to the pitch, on the back of a European night for us.
“It’ll be a really tough test for the players, but we are capable of going there and performing well and getting the result we want.
“It’s a fantastic game again and these are the games that the players should want to play in.
“I think they are starting to get some bodies back. They’ve still got good players; they’ve still got a good team.
“Craig has them very well drilled and organised. They bring a physicality that most teams do in Scotland and they will be desperate to beat Rangers.
“It’ll be a tough game and they will be at it, so we will need to make sure that we put in a strong performance if we want to get anything out of the game.”
This will be Rangers first trip to Tynecastle for two years due to the renovations at Hearts’ home.
Gerrard told reporters he has taken time to familiarise himself with the stadium, which is notorious for its intense atmosphere with fans close to the field.
He continued: “I went to watch the England against Scotland under-21 game recently, and I went to watch Hearts against St Johnstone to get a feel for the stadium.
“I think it’s a magnificent set-up, certainly with their new stand and with passionate fans and Rangers in town, it is set up to be a cracker.
“The pitch is the same for both teams. I think it’s a couple of metres narrower than Ibrox, which is not huge.
“However, the pitch is big enough for us to go there and express ourselves and play the way that we want to play. We won’t use the pitch as any kind of excuse, but yes it is a tight environment.
“Every decision from the referee, the crowd will be on their feet, which might make it a bit fierier but what a fantastic challenge for our boys.”