STEVEN Gerrard says Rangers will have “no excuses” after a quick turnaround to face Kilmarnock this Sunday.
The Gers landed in the early hours of Friday morning after progressing to the Europa League play-off round and now travel to Rugby Park for an early kick-off this Sunday.
But Gerrard is determined to have his Light Blues raring to go as he matches up against his former Liverpool coach Steve Clarke in the League Cup. Clarke was assistant to Kenny Dalglish at Anfield.
Speaking to the media the Gerrard said: “We have to handle the schedule, we realise it is tough and it will be a challenge but for us we just focus on the next game, which is Kilmarnock in the cup.
“We’re up against Steve Clarke who I know very well and who is a very good manager, has his teams very organised plus we’re playing on a different surface.
“We are faced straight away, after a tough night last night, with another difficult challenge and for me it’s important I just try and keep the players focussed.
“I enjoyed working with Steve very much, I think he is a top man and someone I have always got on with and someone who I have enormous respect for as a coach.
“I absolutely loved his sessions as a player, he is a football man who knows the game and he has been brought up at Chelsea and had the benefit of working under Mourinho. I know he took an awful lot from him, to add to what he already had.
“His Kilmarnock team are strong at home and they have a very good record, they are difficult to beat there.
“They are used to the surface a lot more than visiting teams, they play with two banks of four normally and in Kris Boyd up front they have an experienced player.
“He has the know-how about how to be difficult to handle and he knows where the back of the net is.
“We have to be at it at the weekend and we have to try and recover as best as we can. We have to go there and put in a strong performance if we want to stay in this cup competition.”
Gerrard revealed he won’t shy away from freshening up his starting XI for the Betfred Cup clash.
He could also call on Lassana Coulibaly who was forced to miss the Maribor game with a thigh injury – that’s if the Mali international comes through a scan on Friday.
He continued: “I am sure there will be some changes, the demands last night on the players were big and we never got back until quite late then this game smacks us right in the face in terms of time to prepare.
“The players know what I have been doing, I have been trying to keep people fresh and keep energy in the team.
“We will find out more about Lassana Coulibaly today, he has a scan just to check the injury out as a precaution.
“We don’t think it is a serious problem but he is an important player for us so we want to check it out and see if there is any damage in there.
“It was thrown upon us yesterday morning that he wasn’t available and the lads handled it very well. We’ll know by today if he can play on Sunday.”