Ger­rard can bring a win­ning mentality to the Light Blues

With £3m man com­ing in and the back­ing of the board, new boss just needs to in­stil spirit of Wal­ter in side

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THE Rangers squad will re­turn to pre-sea­son train­ing on Fri­day and I know Steven Ger­rard will be looking to make his mark right from the first day in terms of the stan­dards, the dis­ci­pline and the ex­pec­ta­tions he will demand from his play­ers.

He, along with the staff he has brought in, need to cre­ate the right en­vi­ron­ment and forge that win­ning mentality around the train­ing ground and Ibrox.

That starts from the first day and the first im­pres­sion is im­por­tant for the man­ager and the play­ers. Steven will gain re­spect straight away, as will Gary McAl­lis­ter.

Every­one is quite ex­cited about the new sea­son and hope­fully Con­nor Gold­son will join up as well.

At around £3mil­lion, he is cer­tainly a sig­nif­i­cant sign­ing for Rangers. You have to say fair play to the board for back­ing the man­ager in that way.

I know that they have been crit­i­cised a lot in the past but they have al­ways backed their man when it comes to transfers.

They did it with Pe­dro Caix­inha last sum­mer. That might have ended badly, but he got the money from the board for fees and for wages.

We all know that Steven needs fi­nance to bring in play­ers and a sign­ing at that level is a bit of a state­ment of in­tent from Rangers.

At 25, Gold­son fits the pro­file of player we should be looking at and there is a potential re­sale value there. That is some­thing we haven’t had re­cently.

If he does well, he could be worth dou­ble the money we are pay­ing for him. He is still young, so there should be more to come from him. Get­ting the play­ers in is so im­por­tant but there has to be a de­gree of Rangers clear­ing the decks this sum­mer as well.

I am sure Steven will know who be sur­plus to re­quire­ments, and most of the play­ers will know them­selves that their time is com­ing to an end.

How you deal with that de­pends on you as a pro­fes­sional and a per­son. You still need to go in and do your job and hope that you get a new club.

You don’t want to be sit­ting in the stands and not play­ing, so it is in your in­ter­est to be as pro­fes­sional as pos­si­ble. If you don’t, you could find your­self train­ing alone or with the 20s.

That squad that has been there for the last few years needs a dis­ci­plinar­ian and I can see Steven be­ing that kind of man­ager be­cause his stan­dards will be so high. I think his qual­i­ties are just what Rangers need.

The squad go to Spain for a train­ing camp at the week­end and the time off the park will be so im­por­tant in terms of bond­ing be­tween the play­ers and get­ting to un­der­stand­ing the man­ager.

Steven will get to know the play­ers on a per­sonal level and it is a chance for him to get in­side their heads and see what makes them tick.

Those days away are cru­cial for any side. That is where the first bonds are built and the foun­da­tions are laid for the sea­son.

I worked with Gary Mac at Scot­land and he will have a big part to play in that, he is bril­liant at bring­ing groups of play­ers to­gether and he is very ap­proach­able. He will be the bridge be­tween the play­ers and the man­ager.

We al­ways went to Ger­many with Wal­ter. It was in the mid­dle of nowhere, there were two ses­sions a day and we played two or three games in the time we were away.

When it came to a night out, all of the play­ers in the squad would be there. We had that to­geth­er­ness and had an amaz­ing bond.

But at pre-sea­son we knew the hard work had to be done. Wal­ter would say if we wanted to go on a night out, we could go out.

That didn’t re­ally hap­pen, though. We all knew how im­por­tant the sea­son com­ing up was and what was ex­pected of us so we had to put the hours in.

We had Euro­pean games com­ing up and then the start

to the league so when it was time to work, we knew what was ex­pected of us.

That came from Davie Weir, and the likes of Barry Fer­gu­son. We had a few mad men, but we were sen­si­ble when it mat­tered and it all came to­gether.

Watch­ing the last cou­ple of years at Rangers, when there has been six tro­phies up for grabs and we have won none of them, the thing that stands out for me is the lack of to­geth­er­ness in the team on the park. That comes from off the park.

We had that. Not ev­ery one of us got on, but there was a pro­fes­sion­al­ism and we had each other’s backs in the dress­ing room.

There was a nas­ti­ness, if you like, but a real win­ning mentality and that is why I think Steven Ger­rard can be a suc­cess be­cause that is the way that he thinks.

That will filter through his coaches, staff and play­ers.

That is what Wal­ter had. He had that streak, that mind­set, and Steven will bring that to Rangers.

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