McAl­lis­ter ad­mits Ger­rard is ‘an emo­tional guy’ but he keeps his cool for the play­ers

RANGERS

Evening Times - - SPORT - BY CHRIS JACK

WHEN Steven Ger­rard en­tered the me­dia room at Ibrox on Wed­nes­day night, he had the look of a man who meant busi­ness.

The jacket and club tie were off and the ex­pres­sion and words said it all about how an­gry and upset he was with his play­ers af­ter a lam­en­ta­ble per­for­mance and sur­prise de­feat to Aberdeen.

His as­sess­ment of the game and the key mo­ments – Scott McKenna’s goal, the red card to Al­fredo More­los and the chances his side spurned – were hon­est and straight to the point, as al­ways.

Sup­port­ers would have had no com­plaints if Ger­rard had given his play­ers a ver­bal rol­lick­ing in­side the home dress­ing room. In­deed, many would have de­manded it.

Rangers fell well be­low the stan­dards that their man­ager has set this sea­son as their un­beaten record on home soil and top spot in the Premier­ship were lost in one go.

It was a re­sult that clearly frus­trated Ger­rard. It isn’t one that will be al­lowed to de­rail Rangers or undo their good work this term, though.

“He’s an emo­tional guy,” as­sis­tant man­ager Gary McAl­lis­ter said of his for­mer team-mate that is now his boss. “You saw the way we played.

“But times are chang­ing. Young peo­ple are chang­ing.

“He’s closer to the chang­ing room in his age group than me. Those days ac­tu­ally don’t ex­ist a great deal now, tea-cups and vol­leys and that stuff.

“It’s about tak­ing stock and be­ing re­al­is­tic. We have had loads of plau­dits, we’ve had some great nights, es­pe­cially at Ibrox.

“This was a dis­ap­point­ing one. It’s about not get­ting too high and not get­ting too low.

“We don’t think there has been a cause for [los­ing the rag] at this mo­ment in time.

“Be­cause I think the line of com­mu­ni­ca­tion be­tween the play­ers and the dress­ing room is good. We’d rather talk it through.

“We talk in com­part­ments. We talk in groups. There is se­nior­ity and there are younger player and po­si­tion-spe­cific. There are loads of talks con­tin­u­ally.”

Ger­rard ad­dressed

‘‘ Those days ac­tu­ally don’t ex­ist now with tea-cups and vol­leys

his play­ers on Tues­day morn­ing to warn them about the con­se­quences of their dis­ci­plinary prob­lem af­ter Scott Ar­field col­lected Rangers’ sev­enth red card of the cam­paign against Hearts last week­end.

But the mes­sage didn’t have the de­sired im­pact as Al­fredo More­los picked up num­ber eight with a mo­ment of mad­ness as he threw his arm into the face of Dons cap­tain Graeme Shin­nie.

Rangers had toiled to break down Aberdeen even af­ter their vis­i­tors had been re­duced to 10 men when Sam Cos­grove was dis­missed for a se­cond book­able of­fence.

The loss of More­los didn’t cost Rangers the game but it cer­tainly didn’t help their chances of sal­vaging some­thing from an evening that could, and should, have been far more pos­i­tive for Ger­rard, his play­ers and his staff.

“Yeah, we’ve been chat­ting quite a lot over the last cou­ple of days,” McAl­lis­ter said. “We can’t hide from the fact it was a dis­ap­point­ing re­sult.

“Hav­ing said that, the level of per­for­mance was a big dip as well. I don’t think we an­tic­i­pated that. Right through­out the team we never re­ally got any­thing go­ing on the night, right from early in the game.

“There was no rhythm. There wasn’t many com­bi­na­tion or phases of play when we maybe got five, six, seven, eight, nine, 10 passes.

“It was very much stop­start, throw-ins and set-plays. We were un­com­fort­able the whole time.

“Even when nu­mer­i­cally we had the ex­tra man we still never got any rhythm to it at all. So per­for­mance-wise we were dis­ap­pointed. The re­sult was ob­vi­ously mas­sively dis­ap­point­ing, but it was the per­for­mance level as well.

“I think we have to ap­plaud the op­po­nent at times as well. They came to do a job and around the park they prob­a­bly won more in­di­vid­ual bat­tles than we thought they would.

Rangers man­ager Steven Ger­rard talks things through with his play­ers while No 2

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