Rangers manager Steven Gerrard thinks his side’s fitness can “definitely” improve – and insists that it was “glaringly obvious” that Celtc were “fitter and stronger” than the Gers last season.
Gerrard attended March’s Scottish Premiership Old Firm clash at Ibrox as the Gers slipped to a 3-2 defeat and admits the gulf in fitness is what struck him most from about the Gers.
With his side in Spain for a ten-day training camp, Gerrard believes the difference in fitness between the Old Firm giants is “probably a good reason” Celtic have been “quite successful.”
“The fitness is the thing that struck me most when watching them last season,” Gerrard said, as quoted by the Daily Record.
“You look at the group and areas where you can improve it and fitness is definitely one of them. I watched Rangers with my own eyes close up in the game against Celtic and it was glaringly obvious to me that Celtic were fitter and stronger on that occasion.
“If you want to play at the top end and, fight for trophies, be in the running when the big prizes are given out, compete against the best the first thing you have to do as a footballer is be fit. You need to be ready for the challenges at the top level. If the fitness is not there where do you go? It’s probably a good reason why Celtic have been quite successful.”
Football Insider verdict:
After having his players back at training for a few days now, Gerrard will have a good idea exactly where his side’s fitness actually is. The Light Blues will be put through a gruelling pre-season as the new Gers management team put their side through their paces. Gerrard and his coaching staff will undoubtedly push the Gers squad as they try to build a squad capable of challenging bitter rivals Celtic – and having a squad that can last the duration would be a good start. Rangers fans of a certain age would perhaps be in favour of a real blast from the past and take the players to Gullane to run the sand dunes like great Gers sides of years gone by. With a host of small changes being made at the club, everything is being geared towards improving the players’ fitness and bringing the club’s methods in line with clubs at the highest level.
In other Rangers transfer news, they are leading the hunt to sign an in-demand attacker from Liverpool.