Noel Whelan has admitted he has been blown away by the change of mentality at Rangers under Steven Gerrard.
The former Aberdeen and Leeds striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, has insisted the psychological difference is clear as day this season as the Gers continue to go unbeaten across all competitions.
Speaking after the win over Standard Liege, Scott Arfield heralded the fierce competition for places at Ibrox and revealed Gerrard had drilled a certain mentality into the dressing room “from day one”.
"Loving it! I always do. Football is the greatest gift that anybody has ever gave me.
"A club this size on nights like this, it's very memorable."
It's easy to see how much it means for Scott Arfield to represent Rangers ❤️💙
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) December 3, 2020
The Light Blues currently sit 11 points clear at the top of the Premiership table while Thursday’s win secured their place in the Europa League knock-out stages.
Having brought the likes of Kemar Roofe, Leon Balogun and Jon McLaughlin in over the summer transfer window, competition for a place in the starting XI is as high as it ever has been under Gerrard.
Whelan has been left drooling over the way the 40-year-old has managed to instil a winning mentality at Ibrox and insisted Arfield’s squad revelation has been clear to see in their performances.
Asked what he thought of the Canada international’s comments, Whelan told Football Insider: “I keep saying this about Rangers – you can say it but we see it, that’s the difference.
“We see it on the football ground, we see on the pitch, we see it with the expectations now on Rangers and what is wanted from them from their manager. This all comes from the manager, by the way, this is what’s been instilled into them in the very short time that Steven Gerrard has been in charge.
“He manages how he plays, any expectations that he had on himself, he’s putting on the players and they’re rising to the occasion, they’re enjoying it because it’s increased the amount of quality of the football club as well.
“Not just from players brought in and that competition for places but young players as well being given an opportunity, there’s this competition coming from everywhere: Under-23s, players that have come in, players that are playing regularly.
“It’s to make sure that you produce because the moment you don’t, there’s somebody there waiting in the wings to step in and do the job. The way he’s changed things is that winning mentality, that competition, that desire, that hunger – all traits that make a great team.”
Speaking of the mentality among the dressing room, Arfield told BT Sport: “I’m a mainstay in the team at the minute but I think the minute you think you’re going to play every game, that’s when someone takes your shirt.
“That’s the mentality the gaffer’s set from day one, it’s a mentality I’ve always had as a player and everybody in this team has got the same mentality.”