Rangers caretaker manager Jimmy Nicholl has delivered an ominous warning to incoming manager Steven Gerrard – saying he’ll “find out” whether he has the players to challenge Celtic for the title.
Nicholl insisted it wasn’t for him to say if the group Gerrard was inheriting was good enough to stop Celtic from continuing their dominance of the Scottish game – only saying the Liverpool icon needs “15 or 16” players who understand “what it’s about” playing for the Gers.
“It’s not for me to say what he’s inheriting,” Nicholl said, as quoted by the Scottish Sun.
“You need a hard core of 15 or 16 players who know what it’s about. Who know what it takes to win a football match, who can handle the demands put on you on and off the park.
“Are the numbers there? Sixteen? You’ll find out whether there is or not. That’s not for me to say.”
Football Insider verdict
Reading between the lines, Nicholl doesn’t seem to think the players – as a collective – are up to the task currently although it remains to be seen if Gerrard agrees with that assessment. If he does then there’s going to be a huge turnover of players this summer as the Liverpool legend gets to work in his managerial job. The most important thing for Rangers fans next season will be winning – not playing pretty football or having lots of possession. If Gerrard can get that to happen consistently then he is onto a good start. The Gers don’t struggle for goals but concede them at a frightening rate and Gerrard will need to tighten up the Gers backline as a priority if he wants to genuinely challenge Celtic in his first season. Despite how things went this season, Celtic aren’t as good, or as far ahead of Rangers, as some want to think.
In other Rangers news, the Gers are firmly in the running with Celtic to sign this £120,000-a-week Premier League player who wants to move on in the summer.