STEVEN GERRARD insists he shouldn’t have to say too much to motivate his players before they face Kilmarnock following Tuesday night’s Scottish Cup exit.
The manager expressed his huge disappointment following the 2-0 home defeat to Aberdeen in midweek and, speaking this morning at his pre-match press conference at the Hummel Training Centre, he hopes his squad is ready to bounce back in a positive way in front of the Ibrox faithful tomorrow.
Gerrard said: “Sometimes in football you don’t have to say too much. I think players know and they will be well aware how the supporters will be feeling and how the staff are feeling – and how they are feeling themselves.
“It’s about what you do on the pitch in terms of your reaction and your performance, individually and collectively. The players will know how I’m feeling. They’ll know it pretty clear.”
When asked if Tuesday’s result will make his pre-match team talk for tomorrow’s Premiership fixture against Steven Clarke’s men that little bit easier, he responded: “It won’t be any more straight forward than normal.
“We won’t change much in terms of our preparation, how we go about messages and strengths and weaknesses of opposition.
“But I think sometimes you end up in situations as a player and as a team where tactics and information has to come second. It’s about you do and what you give in terms of your performance.
I’m expecting a performance for the supporters on Saturday. It’s got to be about the supporters because that was a tough one for them to take on Tuesday and we understand that.”
With just nine league games to go Gerrard insists both he and his players will not give up on closing the gap at the top of the table.
He said: “We believe we can get closer, and that’s got to be the challenge and that’s what we will try and do all the way to the end.
“Listen, we will never stop fighting and giving what we can to improve our situation, but let’s not look too far ahead as we’ve got a tough challenge against Kilmarnock at the weekend.
“They will have watched our second-half performance against Hibs and our performance against Aberdeen and they’ll come with a game plan to try and take points away from us or do similar things.
“So we need to first and foremost find a level which is capable of getting a result on the day against Kilmarnock. We’ve got to look at what is in front of us.”
Gerrard insisted he “felt fine” after the 1-1 draw against Hibs at Easter Road seven days ago but it was a different story following Tuesday night’s painful defeat to the Dons.
He said: “I’m well aware of the job I’m in and what I signed up for. I knew after a couple of results that are not favourable that questions would be asked and lot of pundits and people in the media would be saying stuff.
“You get a lot of keyboard wizards out there – I know all that and I’ve had it as a player. It’s not going to change now I’m a manager, but after Hibs I was fine.
“The performance first half was probably the best 45 minutes we’ve played and we should have had the game done and dusted.
“Second half we come off the gas for whatever reason and it wasn’t good enough. But there was a huge referee decision within that which has affected us not taking maximum points.
So after Hibs I was fine because I analysed it properly and there were a lot of positives to take, but it’s been tough since Aberdeen. It’s been tough because not only have we gone out of a cup competition which always hurts, there weren’t many positives to take from the game and Aberdeen deserved to win.
“Normally, you come away from games with a lot of positives and you look out and you have your players who normally stand up and they are there for you.
“So I’ve been a bit low and a bit flat but I’m fine. I’ve picked myself back up and ready for the next challenge.
“I’ll guarantee that I will improve myself personally and I will do everything I can to improve things. That’s all I can do.”