I Always Use Leeds As A Reference – Gary McAllister On Title-Winning Formula

Rangers assistant manager Gary McAllister has recalled how he won the title with Leeds United in 1992 by winning a host of games without playing well, urging the Gers to take inspiration and win ugly when needed.

The Light Blues visited Hearts in the Scottish Premiership on Sunday and were handed a shock 2-1 defeat, bringing their five-game winning streak in the league to an end.

However, with a game in hand and the chance to close the gap with Celtic down to two points, Steven Gerrard’s Rangers remain on course to push the Bhoys all the way.

As the Gers look to stop the Hoops from winning the title for ninth time in a row, assistant manager McAllister has stressed the need for them to win matches even when they are not playing well.

The 55-year-old has pointed Rangers’ players to how he won the league while at Leeds, insisting that the ability to find a way to win is crucial to title-winning sides.

You go back to personal experiences and I look back at the time when I played at Leeds United, where I managed to go and win the league“, McAllister said on Rangers TV.

I always use that as a reference and I can remember, in that season we won the league, we probably played exceptionally well four or five times – a handful.

And the rest of that, it is an old cliche but it does still stand up today, if you’re actually going to compete at the very top level, right at the top of the league, you have got to have an ability to win a game when you don’t play well or you don’t perform as well as you’d have liked to.

And that’s probably what the game was like the other night [against St. Mirren] and from now to the end of the season there’s going to be more.”

Rangers will be looking to put their Hearst setback behind them quickly when they host Ross County on Wednesday night.

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Goals And Not Money Motivates Jermain Defoe

Rangers assistant manager Gary McAllister insists scoring goals, and not money, motivates Gers striker Jermain Defoe.

The English veteran has been key for Steven Gerrard’s Rangers since arriving at Ibrox on a one-and-a-half-year loan deal from Premier League side Bournemouth last January.

Having been impressed with the striker’s performances, the Light Blues decided to make Defoe’s move to Ibrox permanent, with the player signing a one-year contract to kick in during the summer last week.

Upon committing his future to Gers for another season, Rangers assistant manager McAllister has hailed the 37-year-old as a special talent.

The 55-year-old believes Defoe is motivated by the thrill of rattling the net and feels it is evident every time he scores, no matter how it goes in.

He’s a special talent“, McAllister said on Rangers TV.

You’d have to look in a wee bit closer. So, I don’t think Jermain is motivated with money because I think over the years – just need to look at the names of the clubs that he’s played for – he’s probably been rewarded throughout his career with good salaries.

So I don’t think that’s something that inspires him. I think he is inspired by just that thrill of hitting the back of the net.

You can see it every time whether it is a tap-in from two yards or a clever bit of moment and a bend in at the top corner or just a penalty. You just see the smile just come out.

Defoe has scored 16 goals from his 29 appearances across all competitions so far this term for Rangers.

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He Almost Likes To Play Off The Cuff – Jermain Defoe On Gers Team-mate Joe Aribo

Rangers star Jermain Defoe has heaped praise on Gers team-mate Joe Aribo and believes the youngster is able to express himself more in his new role.

The Nigeria international has been in a regular in Steven Gerrard’s Rangers starting eleven since arriving at Ibrox from Charlton Athletic in the summer.

While Aribo usually occupied positions in midfield during his initial days at the club, he has been moved to the right-wing recently and Gers frontman Defoe feels the youngster can express himself more in his new position.

The English veteran is of the opinion that the 23-year-old, who has also played behind the striker at times and has chipped in with four assists and one goal in last six league games, is enjoying his new role.

Defoe has lauded Aribo as a big player for Rangers this term and believes the midfielder does not think twice before doing what he does.

For Joe Aribo – where he was sort of like, played a little bit deeper and now he is playing as a 10, closer to the goal, where I feel like he can really express himself“, Defoe told Rangers TV.

And almost like play off the cuff without thinking too much and I feel like that’s where he’s at his best, when he can just play off the cuff and just do what he does.

He’s been a big player for us. He’s enjoying it, he’s enjoying playing that sort of role.

Aribo has scored six goals and provided eight assists from his 35 appearances across all competitions for Rangers this term.

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I Need To Say Things – Steven Gerrard To Hold Talks With Rangers Stars On Monday

Steven Gerrard has admitted he will have clear the air talks with his Rangers stars on Monday after a disastrous showing at Tynecastle. 

Rangers were outbattled and outfought by Daniel Stendel’s Hearts in the Scottish Premiership encounter and went down to a shock 2-1 defeat which hands control of the title race back to rivals Celtic.

The Gers were poor across the pitch and Gerrard’s three substitutions could not change the flow of the game, with Hearts taking advantage of their visitors being badly below par.

Rangers are due to host Ross County on Wednesday, offering a quick chance to bounce back, but Gerrard insists he cannot think beyond talks with his team on Monday as he needs to get things off his chest.

“I’m not feeling even one per cent of positivity right now, whether there’s a game on Wednesday or not”, he told Rangers TV.

“I think I have to get over this first and foremost.

“I need to speak to the players tomorrow. We need to talk about it and we both need to get stuff off our chest.

“Then we can maybe start thinking about Wednesday.

“But we have to think about Monday and Tuesday first and get through them”, the Gers boss added.

The defeat at Hearts was only Rangers’ second loss in the league of the season and Gerrard will demand a reaction when his players line up against Ross County at Ibrox on Wednesday night.

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Jermain Defoe Looked Done – Tam McManus On Rangers Star

Former top flight star Tam McManus feels Rangers striker Jermain Defoe looked done in the Gers’ shock 2-1 defeat at Hearts. 

Defoe is filling in for the suspended Alfredo Morelos and started up front for the Gers at Tynecastle.

Rangers produced a poor opening 45 minutes as both sides went in at the break without scoring. Steven Gerrard made two changes at the break, drafting in Matt Polster and Scott Arfield as he looked to freshen things up.

The visitors took the lead through an impressive Ryan Kent shot in the 47th minute, but were pegged back when Steven Naismith scored ten minutes later, when Glen Kamara was caught in possession.

New Hearts signing Liam Boyce then bagged the winner in the 83rd minute, as his effort deflected into the back of the net off Borna Barisic.

Defoe, who recently signed a contract to join Rangers permanently in the summer, completed the full 90 minutes and former forward McManus was not impressed.

“Said the same [about not being sure on keeping Defoe] big man he looked done today. Twice clean through and never even got a shot away. Morelos massive miss”, he wrote on Twitter.

McManus also feels the defeat for Rangers has been coming based on their last two displays.

“Hearts look a different animal. Tremendous performance full of energy and graft.

“Been bang at it from the first whistle. Bravely played a high line (no Berra) and pressed Rangers into errors. 

“Rangers missed Morelos massively but this been coming after two v sloppy performances”, he added.

Rangers are now five points behind league leaders Celtic, but do have one game in hand on their fierce rivals.

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Scott Arfield On Bench – Rangers Team vs Hearts Confirmed

Fixture: Hearts vs Rangers
Competition: Scottish Premiership
Kick-off: 15:00 (UK time)

Rangers have named their starting eleven and substitutes to go up against struggling Hearts in an away Scottish Premiership fixture this afternoon.  

The Gers saw rivals Celtic win their game against Ross County on Saturday to move five points clear at the top of the Premiership table, but Rangers have two games in hand and can again cut the Bhoys’ lead by winning today.

Hearts sit rock bottom of the league table with just 14 points from their 22 games, but they have gone unbeaten in their last three matches across all competitons.

Rangers thrashed Hearts 5-0 at Ibrox in December, however their last visit to Tynecastle in October resulted in a 1-1 draw.

Boss Steven Gerrard has Allan McGregor in goal, while at full-back he slots in Jon Flanagan and Borna Barisic. In central defence, Nikola Katic and Connor Goldson link up. In midfield, Ryan Jack, Steven Davis and Glen Kamara play, while Joe Aribo and Ryan Kent support Jermain Defoe.

If Gerrard needs to try to change the game at any point then he can look to his bench, where options include Scott Arfield and Sheyi Ojo.

Rangers Team vs Hearts

McGregor, Flanagan, Goldson, Katic, Barisic, Jack, Davis, Kamara, Kent, Aribo, Defoe

Substitutes: Foderingham, Edmundson, Halliday, Polster, Jones, Arfield, Ojo

This article was originally posted here

Ibrox European Nights Are Amazing – Borna Barisic

Rangers left-back Borna Barisic has heaped praise on the atmosphere at Ibrox on European nights and is looking forward to the Gers’ Europa League tie against Braga.

The Light Blues have had a solid European campaign this season, having managed to qualify for the Europa League round of 32 from a group consisting of Feyenoord, FC Porto and Young Boys.

Rangers will now face Braga in the round of 32 of the competitions and Gers defender Barisic is expecting a tough challenge from the Portuguese top flight side.

However, the Croatia international is positive that the Gers have what it takes to see off their Portuguese opponents and claim a spot in the Europa League round of 16.

Barisic is delighted with how things have gone for Rangers in Europe and has heaped praise on the atmosphere at Ibrox on European nights.

Europa League nights are something special“, Barisic told Rangers TV.

I always say that it’s amazing, especially when you play at Ibrox. It’s very, very nice

We played in, I think, a very tough group, where we got through the group.

Now we play against Braga. I think they are a very good opponent, they have a very good team.

But we are going to see what happens. We will try to beat them.

Rangers will host Braga in the first leg of the tie on 20th February and the return leg will take place on the 26th.

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I’m Very, Very Happy – Borna Barisic Relishing Euro 2020

Rangers full-back Borna Barisic has described the feeling of playing for the Croatia national team as special and big and is looking forward to representing his country at Euro 2020.

Barisic has been in fine form for Rangers this season, nailing down the left-back spot under Steven Gerrard.

The 27-year-old has also experienced success on the international scene and has helped Croatia book their spot at Euro 2020 this summer.

Barisic has termed the feeling of playing for Croatia big and special, and is excited about the prospect of representing his country at Euro 2020 this term.

Croatia will play at least two of their group games in Glasgow and Barisic feels it will be nice to play for his country in front of his friends in Scotland.

That is really, really nice because we play the first game in London then we play here in front of my people, I can say, in front of my friends in Glasgow“, Barisic told Rangers TV.

Of course, when you play for the national team, it is something special, something big. You can feel that in your heart.

I’m very, very happy because we are going to the Euros and because I’m going to represent my country there.

Barisic made eight appearances for Croatia in the Euro 2020 qualifying rounds last year, scoring once and assisting once.

This article was originally posted here

He’s Had Excellent Rangers Grounding – Ayr Boss Mark Kerr Pleased With Jordan Houston

Ayr United manager Mark Kerr has heaped praise on the foundations that Rangers have given to Jordan Houston, but believes there is room for improvement for the former Gers starlet.

Scottish Championship side Ayr have landed 20-year-old right-back Houston from Steven Gerrard’s Rangers.

The Honest Men, who brought in the youngster on loan in the summer, have now made the move permanent, with the player signing a two-year contract.

Expressing his delight at having landed him on a permanent deal, Ayr boss Kerr has heaped praise on Houston for his hard work, power and speed.

The 37-year-old also pointed out how Houston’s foundations are strong, having came up through the ranks at Rangers, but believes there is still room for improvement for the young full-back.

He is young and still has a lot of improvement in him“, Kerr told the club’s official site.

He works hard, is powerful and has real pace.

Jordan has had an excellent grounding coming through the youth system at Rangers so he doesn’t have many bad habits.

Houston will now be looking to kick on with his development at Ayr and clocked the full 90 minutes in his side’s 1-0 win over Inverness on Saturday.

This article was originally posted here

Many Thought We’d Lose Him – Ayr Boss Mark Kerr On Landing Jordan Houston From Rangers

Ayr United manager Mark Kerr believes many thought the Honest Men would lose Rangers loanee Jordan Houston this month but has revealed that the youngster was keen on staying after signing him permanently.

Scottish Championship side Ayr have confirmed the signing of 20-year-old defender Houston from top-flight giants Rangers on a two-year contract.

The right-back spent the first half of the season at the second-tier side, having signed a season-long loan deal in the summer, and has been a regular in Kerr’s senior team.

Delighted to have signed the youngster on a permanent deal, Kerr has revealed that the Honest Men did not think twice once they became aware of the chance to get him.

The 37-year-old pointed out how many fans were fearful of losing Houston in January before lifting the lid on how the right-back was keen on staying at Somerset Park.

As soon as we knew there was a chance we could get Jordan for longer there was no doubt in our minds“, Kerr told the club’s official site.

We are always thinking about longer-term and building plans and Jordan is very much part of that.

Probably a month or so ago the fans thought there was a chance we could lose Jordan and Stephen Kelly in January however both of them are loving their time here and wanted to stay.

Houston has made 16 league appearances for Ayr United so far this season.

This article was originally posted here