Noel Whelan believes Steven Gerrard will have been delighted by the defensive performance of Rangers in Saturday’s derby win over Celtic.

The former Leeds United and Aberdeen striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, admits the Light Blues have looked a lot more “gritty” at the back this season.

A brace from centre-back Connor Goldson helped the Gers to a 2-0 away win in the first Old Firm meeting of the season.

The clean sheet means Gerrard’s men have conceded just three goals in 11 Premiership games, four less than Celtic who still have a game in hand.

Whelan believes that the Gers boss was looking for a mental resilience from his players compared to last season and that he will have been overjoyed to have got that on Saturday.

“Steven Gerrard has changed that mental strength in that group of defensive players now, that’s what he’s been looking for,” Whelan told Football Insider.

Subscribe to Football Insider TV now

“We’ve seen it from the start of the season, we’ve seen defensively they work hard, they look assured, they’re a lot more gritty at the back, they look a lot more defensively sound.

“That is where they were looking to strengthen and get better and they definitely have with their record this season in Europe and in the league.”

 

Motherwell and Hibernian are the only two clubs to have broken through Rangers’ rearguard in the league this season.

The Gers are still unbeaten in the league and have only dropped points against Hibs and Livingston.

In other Rangers news, Frank McAvennie has been left fuming after shock Alfredo Morelos news.