STEVEN GERRARD today issued a rallying call to the Rangers support ahead of the club’s upcoming run of four home league matches in 14 days.
The Light Blues will host St Mirren tomorrow to kick-off the run before Ross County visit next Wednesday, Aberdeen are at Ibrox on Saturday week and then Hibs come to town a fortnight tomorrow. The only away match in the run sees Gers head to Tynecastle to play Hearts on Sunday.
Gerrard is looking to use the run to build some real momentum to begin the second half of the Scottish Premiership season after coming through a tough period of away fixtures with flying colours.
He told this morning’s media conference at the Hummel Training Centre: “I think that’s the plan. We obviously had the opposite in terms of fixtures before the break where a lot of the games were away and we had a lot of tough fixtures.
“We had a six-week block where it felt like we were away for the majority of it – that turns now, and we need to try and make the most of Ibrox.
“We are certainly going to need our fans to get behind us and make some noise, and hopefully we can get right back into our rhythm and build on the last league performance.”
The upcoming nature of weekend followed by midweek fixtures is nothing new for Gerrard and his players – and indeed, he reckons it actually suits his side.
“It’s what we are used to,” he continued, “and I think it is when we are at our best. This squad has proved it can cope with a lot of fixtures in a short space of time.
“It is an exciting time and the players look ready, and I am really looking forward to seeing how we perform tomorrow.”
St Mirren boss Jim Goodwin joked he’d come to Ibrox and “park two buses” when discussing his team’s preparations for the match – and Gerrard expects a tough test from them.
He said: “Just listen to what their manager said! I think they are going to be very organised, compact and hard to beat.
“They’ll be very stubborn opposition like they were in the game away from home, and we needed a moment of magic from Borna to find the answer.
“So we think they are going to be organised, compact and try to play us on the counter-attack, so it will be quite similar to what Stranraer tried as well.
“I think the first fixture is always a little bit tough as there is obviously that couple of weeks without a fixture and it is the reason why we put a bounce game in here at the training ground as well so we could get, what we feel, is the right amount of minutes into the players to get that little bit of rust out and the rhythm back.
“We obviously had the setback last year not having the Cowdenbeath fixture, so yes, I am hoping we can find a better level than against Stranraer.
“Having said that, we had 80-odd per-cent possession and 30 efforts at goal with Stranraer not shooting at our goal – I can’t be too critical of the players.”