STEVEN GERRARD reckons Rangers beat themselves as they went down 2-1 to Kilmarnock in their final match of the season this afternoon.
Chris Burke’s opener was canceled out by Alfredo Morelos in the second half, only for Eamonn Brophy to win the game from the penalty spot late-on.
Speaking to RangersTV inside Rugby Park, Gerrard said: “I’m disappointed with the outcome of the game. I don’t think Kilmarnock’s general play deserved to beat us today – I think we have beaten ourselves.
“The first goal is a bit similar to the one we lost last time we were here and we have shot ourselves in the foot with that one.
“We did great to get back in the game and I thought we were better in the second half until we scored, and then we stopped playing.
“The referee has then given Killie a soft penalty to give them the day they wanted.”
A major positive today was 17 year-old Dapo Mebude being handed a debut, with the manager continuing: “He deserves that with is play for the under-18s and the Reserves, and what he has shown in first-team training.
“I’m also pleased for Andy Firth as well getting a debut. Dapo has a bright future – he needs to keep working hard, pushing and hopefully that taste today, he will have a strong pre-season with us and that can be the first of many.
“It’s tough to criticise the players as they have been amazing over the last four or five weeks and we have made huge progress over the 12 months.
“I am very pleased when I analyse the whole season as there is a lot of progress, but we need to keep working hard, growing and trying to add to improve the quality.
“We have to learn very quickly when we come to places like this on poor surfaces, we have to stop giving sides advantages and stop shooting ourselves in the foot by making individual errors as they cost you, both on the day and when you are competing for the prizes.”
Gerrard made five chances to his XI today, and asked if that had an effect on the result, he replied: “I’ll take the hit for that. Certainly with Arfield and Katic, it was my decision. But, I need Katic and Arfield fresh and ready for 60 games next season.
“With all due respect, there wasn’t much riding on this game except to get a win and keep the run going.
“Getting them three weeks off was more important than that. Tav I didn’t want to risk as he had a couple of niggles, and if there is anyone who deserves a breather on an astro-turf pitch, it is Tav.
“But I will take the hit for it – it is my responsibility and if anyone wants to point any fingers, point them in my direction.”
That Gers have played 60 games this season and still look fresh is testament to Head of Performance Jordan Milsom, with Gerrard saying on him: “He is the best, and that is the reason I brought him in. I have every confidence in all my staff – we are improving a lot of areas of the football club on and off the pitch.
“If you look where this club was and the reason I got the job, it was on the floor and it was broken and it as fractured.
“Now, there is some belief and there is some positivity around. The fans have seen us play at a level they are proud of, but we have had too many bumps and too many setbacks, so the aim and challenge for us is can we find consistency for longer periods next season.
“If we do, I predict it could be an exciting future. The fans maybe don’t want to hear that just right now, but I think when everything calms down and they analyse it, if you ask any Rangers fan if we are in a better place now than we were 12 months ago, I don’t think you would get many who disagree.”