Steven Gerrard says Glasgow Rangers must play a lot better if they are to win against Aberdeen this Wednesday night at Pittodrie.
This game is probably a must-win game if the Gers are to maintain their challenge for the top spot this season.
There is no doubt the pressure is all on Rangers to win this so-important fixture. If the Light Blues don’t get at least a draw, I fear it’s all over for the title.
The Celtic fans will probably be hoping that Rangers and Aberdeen share the points, meaning that both teams will drop two points each.
It’s between second and third in the league and it should be an exciting match for both sets of the rival fans. Gerrard is expecting his Rangers team to play much better and win the battle.
Gerrard is demanding a far superior display than they produced against bottom side St Mirren in the 4-0 victory at Ibrox on Saturday.
“We will have to be better against Aberdeen, certainly than the first-half against St Mirren,” he told the official Rangers website.
“In possession we looked quite dangerous but we didn’t look like we had any aggression or intensity out of possession at the weekend
“I thought that improved second-half but there is no getting away from it, we will have to be better out of possession against Aberdeen for the full game.
“I think I am seeing signs of them getting a bit fitter and a bit sharper. You could see Jermain (Defoe), certainly in the second-half, was looking sharp and a big threat and the keeper made a few good saves from him.
“We did know it would take the new boys three or four weeks to get them up to speed.
“It’s a similar situation now with Glen Kamara and Matt Polster, we will push them, they are doing a double session today to try and add more volume into them.”
Gerrard decided to start with Defoe and Steven Davis once again on Saturday. This is the second time in three games he has tried this tactic.
He first tried the diamond formation in the shock 2-1 loss to Kilmarnock in January, but it didn’t work out particularly well that night.
The Rangers boss admits to experimenting with the team shape in order to finally reach the best tactics so suit his side.
“I don’t think the diamond worked again at the weekend, but I don’t think any system is going to work if you don’t have that intensity or aggression in your play,” Gerrard continued.
“I felt when we went to a four-four-two in the second-half at the weekend we looked a lot better, we had a bit more balance and Ryan Kent certainly looked more dangerous out on the left.
“You learn all the time with players individually and collectively but certainly having Jermain around does give us more of a threat and gives us the chance to play two forwards on the pitch, which is what we’re going to need at times.
“It is my job to keep oppositions guessing. There were times when we played the four-three-three system before the winter break where we were looking like we needed more of a threat on the pitch.
“We went to a four-four-two against St Johnstone when Lafferty came on and he made a big difference and gave us more of a threat up top.
“We have got options to do that but I won’t be playing four-four-two every week or four-diamond-two every week. We do have to have flexibility in our game if we want to be successful.”