Rangers return to league summit but lack of ruthless streak frustrates Steven Gerrard

Rangers manager Steven Gerrard looks on from the touchline.
Rangers manager Steven Gerrard looks on from the touchline.

Steven Gerrard may just have seen his Rangers team return to the top of the League – but he was far from a happy man as he reflected on the 1-0 defeat of Hamilton Accies at Ibrox on Sunday afternoon.

Gerrard felt his team wasted chances to kill the game off.

He said: “It was frustrating – we have to put teams like Hamilton away. I thought we started the game extremely well but we didn’t kill the game off.

“The chances were there. We should have had this game won inside 15 minutes but we made such hard work of a game that should have been much easier.”

Nevertheless, a win is a win as the Ibrox boss acknowledged.

“A lot of our game was good today – out of possession we were really good. Going forward we were wave after wave after wave but we lacked that little bit of magic in the final part of the pitch, that final pass, that incredible cross. We lacked a player who would step up and kill the game off.

“I’m happy with the win, I’m happy with the clean sheet – but we’ve got a lot to learn in terms of the performance. We put 22 corners in today, we created enough opportunities in really exciting areas of the pitch but we had a zero killing instinct today. That’s a concern.”

Like any manager Gerrard was cautious as he took in the Premiership table with Rangers at the top.

“I’m not really interested in being top of the league right now because we were top of the League fourteen days ago then lost and drew the next two,” he said.

“What’s more important for me right now is what can we learn from the performance moving forward and it’s blatantly obvious we have to learn to kill teams off in the final third.”

The return of Daniel Candeias from suspension pleased the ‘Gers boss.

“It was good to have Candeias back today – he brought a lot of energy and got the winner.”

The departure of on-loan midfielder Ovie Ejaria was something that Gerrard regretted whilst admitting that it was to an extent out of his hands.

“He’s a Liverpool player so first and foremost I have to respect the kid’s privacy. I’d like to thank Liverpool for the opportunity to have him here for half-a-season.

“I’m disappointed he’s gone and I don’t think it’s the right decision because he had an incredible opportunity here but I’m never going to stand in a player’s way. He’s not settled – I’ve got people here who are desperate to wear the shirt.

“It is what it is. I’m sad about the decision – but I wish him all the best. He’s played 25 times, eleven in Europe. Characters are different – I have to accept that.”

Next up for Rangers is a visit to Edinburgh on Wednesday evening to face Neil Lennon’s Hibernian at Easter Road.

Albanian International Eros Grezda meanwhile echoed his manager’s thoughts on both the game itself and the League table.

“We need to take more of our chances. We should have killed the game much earlier. In the next game we play we need to finish teams off as soon as possible.”