STEVEN GERRARD gave the following reaction to today’s Betfred Cup semi-final defeat to Aberdeen.
When asked how he was reflecting on the match, he said: “With disappointment and regret. I thought the performance was okay at times and we managed to get into some good areas of the pitch, but there was a serious lack of quality.
“We never created anything clear-cut and then you always leave yourself wide-open to that sucker-punch which Aberdeen gave us.
“We have to live with that pain and disappointment, and it is tough.”
The manager was then asked if, initially, he would have done anything differently.
He responded: “I probably wouldn’t have played [Alfredo] Morelos against Ayr United – that’s one regret that’s swirling around in my head right now, and I’ll learn from that.
“Listen, I’ll take responsibility for this performance. I picked the players and I picked the game plan. I signed a lot of the players so if anyone wants to point any fingers, point them my way.”
Asked what his side lacked in the final third, he said: “Quality, belief and someone who has a bit of courage on the big stage to go and make a name for themselves.”
Gers now move on to face Kilmarnock at Ibrox on Wednesday. Gerrard was asked how they recover for that, responding: “We will do what we do, nothing changes. We will try and recover, we will analyse and we will debrief. Besides that, we hope some individual players self-reflect and we get a reaction, that’s what we have to do.
“But this one will be tough to move on from straight away because of the stage and because of the opportunity that has gone by, and if you’ve anything about you it should hurt for a little while.
“In the coming performances, you should take that frustration out on them.”
Asked about the terrific support Gers received at Hampden, he said: “Again, supporters, absolutely fantastic. That won’t be our last semi-final and we will continue to push to try and give them more days out.
“But when we do get to this stage again, hopefully we will have better players in the final third that take us that step further.
“If they are not there with us right now I will find them.”
And finally, he was quizzed if the pain his players are experiencing tonight can be used as a positive for them going forward, in terms of it not being something they want to experience again.
The manager said: “That is if they get the opportunity to play in another semi-final. By the time that comes round, we might have different personnel and I might pick a different game-plan and different individuals to play.
“The players that were picked today, when we got to the last bit – the business end – no-one delivered.”