Former Rangers manager Mark Warburton has bizarrely claimed that Steven Gerrard “needs” the Gers board to tell fans he is their choice to replace Graeme Murty.
Gerrard was confirmed as the next Gers manager on a four-year deal on Friday afternoon as he takes his first steps into management after a stint in charge of Liverpool’s Under-18s.
Warburton insists the Gers need to manage expectations ahead of Gerrard taking the reins at Ibrox on June 1st and reassure fans the former Liverpool captain is at Ibrox “for the long-term.”
“I keep hearing stories about how Steven needs £20million or £30million to compete,” Warburton said, as quoted by the Scottish Sun.
“Of course he needs the financial backing, but he also needs verbal backing.
“He needs the club to say that he’s their choice and he’s here for the long-term.
“If the fans hear that then they’ll probably have a more realistic expectation.
“You can’t catch Celtic overnight. They will respond to Gerrard’s appointment, because whatever Rangers do, Celtic will be watching.
“But for me the key is managing expectations and the club saying he’s here for the long-term.”
Football Insider verdict
If Warburton had paid the slightest bit of attention to anything that has come out of Ibrox in the last few days, it is clear that – publicly at least – the club are fully behind the appointment and have gone all-in on the former Liverpool captain. Expectation at Ibrox is no higher than it should be – fans want to win the title – and that isn’t going to change any time soon. That was part of the problem Warburton faced when he was at Ibrox. He simply didn’t get quite how much expectation rests on his shoulders as Rangers manager. Rightly or wrongly, Rangers fans demand success every season and that isn’t going to change this season because Steven Gerrard hasn’t worked as a manager anywhere else. When Rangers – or Celtic for that matter – stop expecting to win trophies and titles it will be time for them to give up completely.