How Rangers plan to build on ‘magical’ season with signings and fans’ smiles
Relentless. It has been the buzzword of Rangers’ success in season 2020-21, which has delivered a Premiership trophy and set new records at Ibrox.
It’s also the mindset, and the reason, that Rangers are 90 minutes from establishing yet more landmarks against Aberdeen this weekend. The club’s first triple-figure points tally is at stake along with an unbeaten league campaign and 100 per cent home record.
It’s why there has been no let-up from Steven Gerrard’s side whether they are 6-0 up against Hamilton or defending a clean-sheet late on a Wednesday evening in Livingston.
And it’s why the defence of the trophy that they claimed on March 7 is already underway, with the club still seeking to grow further from their position of power.
“It never stops,” Gerrard said. “Recruitment meetings have been going on now for some time.
“We’ve already put pieces in place like Jack Simpson and Scott Wright. We’ve managed to get them in early so they’re ready for pre-season.
“We’ve got Nnamdi Ofoborh and Fashion Sakala coming in to join us, so we’re well on our way in terms of trying to strengthen from a position of strength.
“For me, it’s always about fixing the roof when the sun is shining rather than waiting for problems. There will be more still to be added and, come the end of June, when we get back together again, we’ll be full of energy and ready to go again.”
More often than not this season, Rangers have been ready to go on each and every occasion, under a mantra that has driven them through ten weeks with no let-up since achieving the league title – save for a penalty shoot-out slip to St Johnstone in the Scottish Cup and Europa League exit to Slavia Prague.
The reward will come this Saturday when the players lift the Premiership trophy 69 days after it was won.
The manager has challenged the players to leave a legacy of the season with several more records now just one game away after 55 – yes, really – matches played throughout this season.
“The challenge for me and us as a staff – certainly from March 7 and even more so after the St Johnstone setback – was could we keep the standards high in terms of our organisation and drive the players forward to keep clean sheets?
“We’ve been successful in the league on clean sheets and our organisation, so the challenge was keeping the boys hungry and motivated.
“There is one more challenge left for them to do but the signs from Livingston and leading into this game is that they are ready for Aberdeen,” added Gerrard.
Then it will be a time to reset and recharge, but not reboot, with the wheels already in motion for next season, after a campaign that will be remembered and celebrated long after the smoke clears from the celebratory fireworks.
“I’m sure after Saturday we’ll have some time to reflect and analyse,” he added. “It’s been a magical season from my point of view. I’m really proud of the players and what they have given.
“The key people here are the supporters with what they have been through, so we’re aiming to deliver for them and make them happy and proud again of the team.“
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