Steven Gerrard is enjoying his best season in charge of Rangers FC, but can his team remain consistent?
Rangers have spent the last few seasons chasing Celtic in the title race, but, for now, the tables have turned in favor of the Light Blues. After Rangers defeated Livingston (2-0) at Ibrox Stadium, and Celtic drew 3-3 to Aberdeen after conceding a stoppage-time penalty, Rangers now enjoy a six point lead at the top of the table.
With 32 points in the bag, as well as an undefeated record through twelve games, Rangers are flying high at the moment. The Bears and their supporters are full of confidence at the moment, but one man is doing his best to remain grounded: Steven Gerrard.
The journey ahead is a long one, especially when taking into account the additional games added to the schedule because of the Europa League. Gerrard is a young manager who finds himself in this unique situation for the first time.
His team’s brilliant work will mean nothing at the end of the season if the Light Blues do not raise their 55th Scottish league title.
In a historic campaign, Neil Lennon and his squad are already caving under the pressure of becoming the first team in Scotland to win ten consecutive titles, and they are on track to living with the label of “the team that almost set the record”.
Rangers need to take a close look at the current crisis over at “Paradise” and use it to their advantage. The beauty of it all is that nothing needs to change on Rangers’ end. Their dynamic style of play in the final third has seen them score 17 goals in their last six league games.
Furthermore, their defensive organization and discipline has only seen three goals go against them in that time period.
Gerrard has done well to rotate his squad with fresh legs during this congested schedule, but he has also done a solid job of sticking with his attacking tactics despite deploying new faces in the squad.
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Gerrard has quality depth in every position, and his key players have all stepped up to perform at elite levels in this critical campaign.
For now, Rangers are playing like champions, but they need to maintain that urgency, especially against the weaker teams in the division, to make sure they see this title-chasing objective through.
Complacency has doomed several teams in the past, but Gerrard has shown that he is capable of inspiring his players every week.