STEVEN GERRARD has called on his Rangers players to handle the pressure of being top of the Scottish Premiership when Aberdeen come to town tomorrow.
The Light Blues defeat of Hearts on Sunday saw them take the lead for the first time this season, with Gerrard delighted with what his players have given him so far.
But he now wants to see even more from his men in order to maintain their place on top of the pile.
Speaking at this afternoon’s press conference, the manager said: “We have had to work extremely hard to be in the position we are in. We understand Celtic have a game in hand, people are pushing from behind and the circumstances – we appreciate and understand all that.
“The message to the players is quite clear – you have worked ever-so har d to get to where you are, but now you have to work even harder to stay where you are as the pressure comes even more from behind.
“Everyone wants to beat Rangers and knock Rangers anyway, so that just becomes that little bit more when you are sitting top.”
So far this season, Gers have drawn one and lost one to the Dons, but for Gerrard, it’s a completely different game tomorrow night.
He continued: “It’s a tough game against a good team who are very competitive. I don’t think we have had the results maybe our performances have deserved, but that’s football.
“You have to credit Aberdeen. It was a very tough game on the opening day going to 10-men for the majority of the game, but our performance was excellent and to come away and take a point against a rival in the circumstances, it was actually a good result.
“The semi-final, we thought we played well in general play but lacked a bit of quality in the final third, and we got done against the run of play on a set-piece, which we know Aberdeen are very strong at.
“So credit to them for progressing into the final – but this is a completely different game. It’s at Ibrox and it will be great to have two recognised strikers available. We have played Aberdeen twice now and we have only had a recognised striker on the pitch for 12 minutes.
“So we are going in with confidence in a good place. We have Morelos in form and ready to go, and we also have Lafferty back in the form he was in when he first came in.”
Gerrard also gave an injury update on Ryan Kent and Borna Barisic, adding: “Everyone has come through the game fine, and we have no more injuries to add. Ryan Kent has done two days full training, so tomorrow will come too soon for him, but he is extremely close which is great news for him.
“Borna played 45 minutes [for the reserves on Monday] so he is getting there and he is very close to getting back in the squad.”