Thursday 13 December 2018

Steven Gerrard becomes Rangers boss and insists he has 'no problem' with Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers

Former England and Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard smiles as he holds up a Rangers scarf in the trophy room as he is unveiled as Rangers' new manager (Photo by ANDY BUCHANAN / AFP)
Former England and Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard smiles as he holds up a Rangers scarf in the trophy room as he is unveiled as Rangers' new manager (Photo by ANDY BUCHANAN / AFP) Newsdesk

Rangers have unveiled former Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard as their new boss and he has set his sights high in his first managerial posting.

Rangers confirmed Gerrard's appointment, on a four-year deal, at 2pm with the release of a statement on their official website.

Gerrard said: "I am honoured to become the next manager of Rangers. I have enormous respect for this football club, and its history and tradition.

"I can't wait to start this new journey at Rangers as we look to build on the many successes that this club has achieved.

"Stability is the key and I want to give these supporters an exciting team and a winning team and one to be proud of," he said.

"I need to get my feet in the door and teeth into the job before I work out where we need to improve.

"I'm confident or I wouldn't be sitting in this seat. If I didn't have confidence in myself and my staff and the board I wouldn't have come here.

"In terms of targets, i just want to win football matches. That's my buzz.

"I'm up for the challenge and will do my best. I want to be a leader for the fans and I can't wait to be out there for them."

GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - MAY 04: Steven Gerrard is unveiled as the new manager of Rangers football Club at Ibrox Stadium on May 4, 2018 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

The former England skipper played down rumours of a strained relationship with his former Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers at his press conference, despite reports of a rift when the duo worked together in Gerrard's final season as a player at Anfield.

With Rodgers now in charge of Celtic, the pair are are set to be thrown into direct competition next season, with the Irishman welcoming Gerrard's arrival in Scottish football.

"I haven't spoken to him, I left him be when I saw he was linked with it, he will obviously have his own thoughts on it," said Rodgers.

"So I have let him be. But I am delighted for him because he has obviously had an incredible playing career, wanted to manage, wanted to coach and now he gets the opportunity to do that.

"It's what you feel like, if you are ready or not. He has lived with expectation but of course it is different with management, especially up here with that rivalry.

"I always say when I welcome new managers into the job is, 'welcome to the land of no sleep'. "It is a totally different experience. There is a curve of experience that you need to go through.

"I started at 35, I am 45 now and over 400 games later I am a much better manager I think than I was when I started. So you only get it through doing it.

"I am sure he will be looking forward to his first job and like I say, happy that he now enters into my world of coaching and managing."

Rodgers expressed delight at the prospect of coming up against Gerrard next season but insists his resolve to continue his success at Celtic Park will not be changed.

He said: "No. Not at all. Our measure is always ourselves.

"I came in here a couple of years ago and the team was on a winning cycle and my job was to continue with that cycle and win in the best way that we possibly can.

"Over the last couple of years we have done okay, but we need to keep improving.

"There are a number of challenges. Aberdeen are in second position, Hibs have done really well this year so there is more than one challenge.

"But it doesn't make me focus any more or any less. This is a huge job, lots of expectations, lots of pressure but it is something I really enjoy.

"We still have a season to finish here and hopefully finish it well with more success and get a good break and look forward to the challenge of next year."

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