STEVEN GERRARD spoke to RangersTV this morning to give an injury update and said that his squad are in good shape as competitive action continues tomorrow night in the UEFA Europa League.
The Light Blues face St Joseph’s at Ibrox tomorrow night and despite being without Jon Flanagan due to injury, he has another face to add to his squad in the returning Scott Arfield.
“Jon Flanagan is progressing really well; he is probably ahead of schedule. I think the plan if he continues to progress is that he will be back in full training in just over a week.
“So we will try and get some game time to Jon in a couple of weeks and hopefully he will be ready for the start of the season from a domestic point of view.
“Scott Arfield is only probably on day five or six of pre-season, so he is one we will integreate a little bit slower because we want to be careful with Scott, we want him to be avaialable for hopefully what is going to be a 60 games season.
“It’s important the fans understand that Scott is three weeks behind the team.”
New signing Filip Helander joined the club from Bologna at the weekend and he too will have to be patient as he needs to put in the pre-season work that the rest of the squad already have under their belts.
He continued: “Filip Helander is only on day two or three of pre-season so I will be very careful how I integrate him as well.
“I want to put both of those players back into action when they are ready to perform.”
The competitive action continues tomorrow night and the Gers boss says that he can feel the desire from within his squad to put on a show against St Joseph’s after the comprehensive friendly win over Marseille.
He said: “It just feels different, friendlies are friendlies and we always try and approach them the best way we can, to prepare and they are like rehersals for the important games.
“But when you see the Europa League sign on the arm of your shirt and the setup is for real you see in the players’ eyes it is a different feeling.
“It is a real game and you are playing for something, in a friendly, with all due respect you don’t really get anything out of it in terms of points and prizes.
“I think the players are chomping at the bit to get in front of the crowd tomorrow.”
Reports in the media this morning said that the Gers boss was convinced that Rangers can win the title for this season, but he was quick to dismiss the headlines.
“I haven’t been misquoted because I haven’t said anything in terms of winning the league so I categorically deny anyone who claims that I am saying we are going to win the league. I think that would be very naive and stupid from my behalf.
“I always show humility when I talk about competing for the main things. What is for certain is that we are in good shape and the squad in looking strong.
“We will do everything we can to challenge on all fronts, in every competition, but we will always show respect.
“We will never claim that we are going to do something so I was quite surprised to read those headlines.
“I always say to the players to show respect in the media, be humble and show people when you are on the pitch how much you want to win prizes.
“I would be very disappointed in any of my staff, my myself or any of the players if we were claiming we were going to something and showed over confidence and lack of respect to the people we are challenging against.
“That is always my way, it was the way when I was a player, I always showed respect to the rivals but of course we have to show confidence and belief that we can go and achieve things. But we would never claim we were going to do that, especially before a ball was kicked.”