It has not been a good week for either Steven Gerrard or Rangers with elimination from the Scottish Cup at the hands of Aberdeen.
This was followed by the surprise decision to reject the club’s appeal against the yellow card shown to Alfredo Morelos for alleged simulation.
However the striker is available for the visit of Kilmarnock on Saturday afternoon on Premiership business, opponents against whom he netted four goals on their last visit to Ibrox just 24 days ago in an overwhelming 5-0 home win in a Scottish Cup Fifth Round Replay.
And Gerrard is fully aware of the challenge that awaits against a side that Rangers have yet to record a League win against this season.
“They will have watched our second-half performance against Hibernian and our performance against Aberdeen and they’ll come with a game plan to try and take points away from us.
“So, we need to first and foremost find a level which is capable of getting a result on the day against Kilmarnock.”
The Rangers manager has come under pressure of late but Gerrard has defended his record thus far.
“I’m well aware of the job I signed up for. There had to be a lot of change when I took over in the job. I knew I wasn’t going to sort the problem out in one transfer window - nor even two - but without a doubt we’ve moved forward, we’ve improved. Players that were here before have raised their game. The majority of players that we’ve brought in have stood up and done really well.”
“The players will be well aware of how the supporters and the staff will be feeling. It’s about what you do on the pitch in terms of your reaction and your performance, individually and collectively.
“The players will know how I’m feeling but we won’t change much in terms of our preparation.
“I’m expecting a performance for the supporters on Saturday.”
It’s got to be about the supporters because that was a tough one for them to take on Tuesday and we understand that.”
He rejected the suggestion that the season was as good as over for the Light Blues.
“We believe we can get closer, and that’s got to be the challenge and that’s what we will try and do all the way to the end. Listen, we will never stop fighting and giving all we can to improve our situation - but let’s not look too far ahead as we’ve got a tough challenge against Kilmarnock at the weekend.”
Gerrard had mixed feelings as he reflected on recent outings.
“I knew after a couple of results that weren’t favourable that questions would be asked. I’ve had it as a player and it’s not going to change now that I’m a manager, but after the game at Easter Road I was fine.
“The performance in the first-half was probably the best 45 minutes we’ve played and we should have had the game done and dusted. The second-half wasn’t good enough - but there was a huge refereeing decision within that which has affected us not taking maximum points.
“There were a lot of positives to take - but it’s been tough since Aberdeen, not only have we gone out of a cup competition which always hurts, but there weren’t many positives to take from the game and Aberdeen deserved to win.”
He was frank and honest as he self-analysed, but was determined to remain positive.
“Normally, you come away from games with a lot of positives - so I’ve been a bit low and a bit flat but I’m fine. I’ve picked myself back up and ready for the next challenge.
“I’ll guarantee that I will improve myself personally and I will do everything I can to improve things. That’s all I can do.”