Steven Gerrard delighted as Rangers demolish St Johnstone

Rangers Kyle Lafferty (11) celebrates after he scored the fourth goal during the Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership match. Photo credit: Ian Rutherford/PA Wire.
Rangers Kyle Lafferty (11) celebrates after he scored the fourth goal during the Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership match. Photo credit: Ian Rutherford/PA Wire.

Steven Gerrard was delighted with Rangers’ performance in the 5-1 defeat of St. Johnstone at Ibrox on Sunday afternoon.

Rangers had five different scorers as they romped past the Saints thanks to goals from James Tavernier, Alfredo Morelos, Scott Arfield, Kyle Lafferty and Daniel Candeias.

“I thought we were very good today, especially on the back of a tough night on Thursday,” said Gerrard. “It was exactly the performance I was looking for. I thought we were ruthless at times and played some stunning football and scored five very good goals.

“I thought we played some really stunning football, and we certainly deserved to win by a big margin today, and we got that with five different goal-scorers.

“I thought at times today we looked really dangerous every time we moved forward. We rattled the woodwork a couple of times and maybe could have had another couple of goals.

“The only fault was the penalty at the end and obviously we got a little bit sloppy in the final ten minutes.”

Results elsewhere over the weekend certainly helped produce a satisfying atmosphere around the club.

“We had a spring in out step, not just because of Celtic’s result but also that of Hearts,” admitted Gerrard. “We have to make sure we’re ready to pounce, to capitalise on other teams dropping points.

“We won’t be getting carried away however. I knew when the fixtures came out that the first four games would be really tough.

“I knew when I took over that it would take time to restore confidence. When teams come here we’ve got to give them a really good ninety minutes. We need to punish teams here at Ibrox.”

There was praise from the manager for Ross McCrorie, Alfredo Morelos and James Tavernier.

“I thought Ross was outstanding, playing in two different positions,” he said.

“Morelos gave a stunning second-half performance. James was magnificent against Villarreal and today he was the best I’ve seen him. We know what he can do in the final third.”

Gerrard also anticipates the squad being strengthened further by the addition of extra bodies who have not yet been fit enough to feature.

He said: “Jordan Rossiter and Gareth McAuley are close to joining the squad so there’s growing competition for places.”

Meanwhile, St. Johnstone boss Tommy Wright cut a frustrated and forlorn figure as he reflected on his side’s mauling at the hands of Gerrard’s Rangers.

“We could have defended a lot of the goals better,” he said. “Strangely though I’ve been to games here when we’ve created fewer chances and won games.

“They were clinical but we could have helped ourselves with how we defended.

“There are both positives and negatives for me. To be fair to my players they kept going right to the end so I’ll give them credit for that but I think at times we left ourselves exposed and, in the end, got what we deserved.

“Yes, Rangers were ruthless at times – but we made it easy for them at times.”