STEVEN GERRARD has given details of the first message that he gave his Rangers squad after being appointed in 2018.

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The former Liverpool captain was originally unveiled as manager of the Ibrox club on May 4, 2018, but began the role in June. He had a number of issues to deal with right away, namely navigating his side to the Europa League group stages and bringing in players of sufficient quality to help turn around the club’s fortunes.

Glasgow Times:

Which is why first impressions were so integral. Gerrard inherited a squad who had been through a tumultuous season and suffered a 4-0 and 5-0 defeat to Celtic in April. He knew that he needed to get everyone on side.

“I remember addressing the team for the first time. I had a few days and weeks to prepare for what I was going to say in that meeting,” Gerrard said on the High Performance Podcast.

“But for me the key thing was to let them know that I’m not standing here addressing you as Steven Gerrard the player. I’m not going to think I’m this person because I’ve had a decent football career, this is me here to try and help and support you.

“To try and improve you as a group, to try and use my experience and my knowledge and my team of people who I’ve worked ever so hard to get around me and we as a group, we are there for you.

Glasgow Times:

"We will do everything we can, we will sacrifice everything we can for you individually and collectively to get you in a better place, because at the time Rangers were suffering.”

There were plenty of questions about how the ex-England captain would cope with such a difficult job.

Glasgow Times:

But in hindsight the decision to appoint Gerrard, who at the time had no managerial experience, proved a masterstroke by the Rangers board.

They have raced to their 55th league title this season and have had much success in Europe. Gerrard believes the culture instilled by his staff from day one is a big reason behind that.

“We wanted to create a culture that was a ‘no excuse’ culture,” he continued.

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“We will make the training ground better, we will make Ibrox better, we will get you better kit, better food. We’ll take all the excuses away but then you have to buy into having that responsibility and having that accountability.

“I’ll do everything I can to protect you and I’ll take as much responsibility and take it all away from you. I just want you to go away and play with freedom, express yourselves and give me the best version of you.

“If we got the majority buying that, there was no doubt Rangers were going to improve.

“We also knew that over a period of time… we were going to add players to it, and we were going to recruit better players to help them [the team]. I think that was music to their ears as well. That we have got the support of the board to get people in who are going to help us get better.”