Ahead of the new Scottish season Rangers boss Steven Gerrard has read the riot act for Super Eagles duo Leon Balogun, Joseph Aribo and others insisting that he will not tolorate weakness in any department.
The warning is coming on the heels of the Scottish Premiership champions’s lone goal loss to lowly rated Tranmere in a pre-season friendly Saturday.
Gerrard labelled Rangers’ failed attempts to stop Tranmere’s winning goal in friendly as “embarrassing”
The former England international and Liverpool legend said he can’t “tolerate” his players being “soft and weak”
The Scottish Premiership champions lost 1-0 against Micky Mellon’s League Two side as Kieron Morris’ first-half strike proved decisive in the friendly at Prenton Park on Saturday.
Despite the absence of a number of players who were involved in international football over the summer along with injured players such as Ryan Jack and Nikola Katic, Gerrard was able to field 22 first-team players.
“The goal we conceded was embarrassing from our level on how it was last year,” Gerrard said.
“People jumping out of the way of tackles, people being soft and weak, and I can’t tolerate that.
“As we move along we will get stronger and better and there will be a better level of performance.
“It’s quite frustrating to lose the game. The big picture, the result is not important at the moment but the takeaway is where we have to improve, certainly the final third.”
Rangers opened their pre-season account with a 1-0 victory over Scottish League One champions Patrick Thistle on July 5, but Gerrard was not satisfied with his side’s approach play on his return to Merseyside.
Scott Wright, Ianis Hagi, Kemar Roofe, Jermain Defoe, Ryan Kent, Cedric Itten, Lewis Mayo and Joe Aribo all had chances in a game that saw summer signing John Lundstram make his debut.
John Lundstram signed a three-year deal with Rangers earlier this month after his contract expired at Sheffield United
“Obviously not happy with the result,” he told Rangers TV.
“I think there was large pockets of control and you could clearly see our style. But over the 90 minutes in the final third it was nowhere near good enough for a Rangers standard.
“I have to take into consideration that it’s our second game and we are coming into the game fatigued, but the level of players we have got here I expect us to create more and certainly get a couple of goals each half.
“So disappointed with the result, quite frustrated with our final-third play but really happy with pockets and how certain individuals going about our business.
“But there were another eight positives to take from today and they are not here with us. So it will all work itself out.”
Rangers continue their pre-season against Arsenal at Ibrox on July 17, with further friendlies against Blackpool, Brighton and Real Madrid all to come before they begin their league title defence against Livingston
on July 31.