Steven Gerrard urges Rangers to ‘flip the mood’ against Malmo
Rangers manager Steven Gerrard has urged his players to “flip the mood” as they prepare to host Malmo in the Champions League qualifiers.
After losing just three times in the whole of last season, Rangers have suffered two defeats in the first eight days of this campaign.
A 2-1 first-leg setback in Malmo was followed by their first league defeat since just before the first lockdown as they suffered a 1-0 reverse against Dundee United.
Gerrard said: “I think we need to give the players a chance before we judge them. It’s still very early days.
“We won’t use any excuses, the last two performances haven’t been to the level we have set, certainly over the last 12 months, but that’s on me and us as a group, and we will deal with the criticism and negativity coming our way. That’s what you have to do.
“But what I would say is, we only need one performance to light the fire again.
“In terms of our league result, it was the first defeat in 40, and our Ibrox form in European games has been pretty strong.
“So I expect a good performance and we can flip the mood of the last seven days with a real strong performance and a result that we want.
“We can change it pretty quickly and that’s the opportunity we have.”
As well as the return of a full Ibrox crowd for the first time in 17 months, Rangers will have Ianis Hagi, Leon Balogun, Alfredo Morelos and Joe Aribo back after missing the first leg, while Gerrard confirmed Fashion Sakala was available after being absent at Tannadice.
“In the first leg we weren’t too satisfied with the options we had throughout the squad,” Gerrard said.
“We put out a strong team but in terms of experienced options that we could throw on during the game we were pretty limited for different reasons.
“But we have more options available, whether it’s 90 minutes or 120 minutes, we have more things to throw at the game, and bigger and better options to pick from.
“I’m really excited. We have really big respect for this Malmo team but this is a game we are ready for and I’m confident there is a performance waiting.”
A message from the Editor:
Thank you for reading this story on our website. While I have your attention, I also have an important request to make of you.
In order for us to continue to provide high quality and trusted local news on this free-to-read site, I am asking you to also please purchase a copy of our newspaper whenever you are able to do so.
Our journalists are highly trained and our content is independently regulated by IPSO to some of the most rigorous standards in the world.
But being your eyes and ears comes at a price. So we need your support more than ever to buy our newspapers during this crisis.
With the coronavirus lockdown having a major impact on many of our local valued advertisers - and consequently the advertising that we receive - we are more reliant than ever on you helping us to provide you with news and information by buying a copy of our newspaper when you can safely.
You can also enjoy unlimited access to the best news from across Northern Ireland and the UK by subscribing to newsletter.co.uk
With a digital subscription, you can read more than five articles, see fewer ads, enjoy faster load times, and get access to exclusive newsletters and content. Visit https://www.newsletter.co.uk/subscriptions now to sign up.