It had been a good season for Steven Gerrard during his maiden voyage in the Rangers dugout. Indeed, a good run in the Europa League group stages certainly looked as if it’d set the tone for a strong campaign, but the fact their season is all but over by March will be a major disappointment.
Last night’s loss to Aberdeen in the Scottish Cup quarter-final renders the rest of the season kind of pointless but, considering the basket case nature of the Ibrox giants, the Liverpool legend needs to ensure things don’t turn really sour. Yes, he deserves time, but this is the Gers we’re talking about – where success is of paramount importance.
The title might be mathematically possible still – though hugely unlikely – so the Light Blues will be hoping that they can have a strong end to the season and push bitter rivals Celtic all the way. Lose any of the big games remaining and it might be hard to raise the spirits even next year.
With this in mind, here are a couple of games that may cause some trouble for Gerrard and his men.
Kilmarnock (Home, 16th March)
With the reverse fixtures ending in a 1-2 away defeat and a 1-1 home draw, there will certainly be difficulty in trying to avoid another banana skin at the Ibrox.
Gerrard will be wary that his side have failed to beat Kilmarnock in the league this season and will look to the cup for inspiration, after thumping Killie 5-0. One of the most upwardly mobile teams in Scotland, it’s important the Glasgow giants make a similar statement to their cup success.
To avoid not winning a single league game against their opponents, Gerrard will have to call on his main men to break the deadlock early on and get the home fans bouncing.
Celtic (Away, 31st March)
The Old Firm promises to be one of the games of the season, as ever.
So, if Rangers were to lose, it would all but cement the title going back to Celtic and undo some of the hard work put in and momentum picked up during December’s Old Firm victory. If they can claim a big scalp in the backyard of their eternal rivals, a statement would have been made.
Lose, and the season will end on the sourest note possible.