12 Aug We have to improve our discipline, boss Gerrard warns Rangers
Steven Gerrard has warned his Rangers side they need to learn to behave after seeing them reduced to 10 men for the second week running.
Alfredo Morelos was back in the Ibrox line-up after having his dismissal at Aberdeen overturned on appeal and gave Gers the lead against St Mirren.
Stand-in skipper Connor Goldson nodded home a second, but what was building into an impressive display was spoiled when Ross McCrorie got himself sent off midway through the opening period for a last-man lunge on new St Mirren striker Nicolai Brock-Madsen.
Gerrard had no complaints with referee Don Robertson’s decision to reach for the red, but he admits he is growing concerned by his team’s ill-discipline after revealing he had to curtail new signing Borna Barisic’s debut after the Croatian also picked up a booking.
“I’m very happy with the result and performance in the circumstances,” he said after the 2-0 win.
“Again, we’ve gone down to 10 men. I thought that was the correct decision. The referee got that one right.
“The response from my team, every single one of them rolled their sleeves up and did what they had to do.
“I was pleased with the clean sheet in the circumstances. I would have liked to keep 11 on the pitch and maybe win the game more emphatically, but at the end of the day it’s all about three points.
“The sending-off was completely different to last week when we felt hard done by, said our piece and got justice in terms of the decision being overturned.
“I thought the officials were really, really good today. They got the decision spot on and we’ve got no complaints.
“I’ve spoken to the team and praised them for the result. But I’ve also spoken about discipline and composure out there. It’s difficult enough with 11 men. We’re picking up too many red and yellow cards for my liking. But we’ll learn, grow and keep going.
“It was a positive debut from Borna. You can see his quality on the left-hand side. The idea was to play him for the full game, but he picked up a yellow so I had to think about the team. We couldn’t afford to go to nine men.”
Gerrard saw Morelos and Lassana Coulibaly go down with knocks near the end, but hopes both will be fine for Thursday’s Europa League trip to Maribor.
And he has not given up hope of welcoming back Ryan Jack for the clash with the Slovenians.
The Ibrox boss, who refused to discuss rumours he is set to step up his move for Hearts’ Kyle Lafferty this week, said: “Ryan Jack is progressing well. I’m more confident of him being available now than I was a couple of days after Aberdeen. But he still has to come into a full training session.”
Saints saw Danny Mullen clip the crossbar just before the break, but Alan Stubbs admitted his side were to blame for their defeat.
“It’s tough enough as it is when you come to Ibrox and try to get a result, but we’ve gifted Rangers two goals,” he said. “That’s what makes it even more disappointing.
“Danny Muller hit the crossbar and on another day that might go in. They are the things you need to fall for you in these games.”