STEVEN GERRARD hopes Ross McCrorie’s season-long loan move to Portsmouth will help him improve and become a better player for Rangers in the future.

The manager, speaking to RangersTV after yesterday’s 5-0 win over Oxford United, gave his thoughts on the 21-year-old’s switch to Kenny Jackett’s League One side.

He said: “It’s a great move for him. I had a really honest conversation with Ross, man to man, and I said to Ross ‘where do you think you are at and what do you want out of the season?’

“He told me that he was desperate for 40 to 50 games and I agreed with him. I think that will be really good for his development and I think Portsmouth is a good club.

“Kenny Jackett plays the right way and the fans are demanding there, so that will prepare him very well for the future here.

“But I think it’s very important to clear some things, or speculation, up in the media – there is no deal there for Ross to go there permanent.

It’s a loan, it’s a development loan to improve him, because he is our player and we want him here for a long time and we want to try and help him get to the next level.

“I could have been selfish and kept him here to be a squad player, but maybe being a squad player won’t develop him or move him along as quick as we want.

“So hopefully he’ll come back with 40 to 50 games under his belt, a better player and ready to challenge the lads that have the shirts. But he’s certainly one of ours and we have got big plans for Ross McCrorie.”

After yesterday’s friendly against the U’s at Ibrox, Gerrard will now be preparing his squad for Tuesday’s Europa League first qualifying round, first leg against St Joseph’s in Gibraltar.

He added: “Tuesday is for real. It will be a tricky game, a sticky game, and it will be hot. The pitch won’t be great, there will be a lot of challenges for the players, but we have to go and face it, front it, accept it and go and show what a good team we are.

“But the signs are good, we’re keeping clean sheets and we are scoring goals, so if we can go and do that away from home, keep a clean sheet and try and get a goal or two, I think we’ll be fine.”


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