Steven Gerrard: Rangers' Umar Sadiq must improve 'everything'

Umar Sadiq
Umar Sadiq has played just 26 minutes for Rangers

Umar Sadiq must improve "everything" if he is to show he is "worthy" of playing for Rangers, says boss Steven Gerrard.

The Roma striker has had 26 minutes of action since joining the Ibrox side in July on a season-long loan.

But Gerrard said the 21-year-old Nigerian has had "the opportunity to impress all of us on a daily basis".

He added: "You don't have to be a rocket scientist to work out that he is going to have to improve if he is to earn some game time."

Sadiq may have thought his chance would be on the horizon in next month's Betfred Cup semi-final against Aberdeen.

Alfredo Morelos is banned while Kyle Lafferty is cup tied for the Hampden tie, but Gerrard has warned the forward he is not guaranteed a starting spot.

"I think everybody at Rangers has done everything they can and the fans have got behind him," he said.

"It can't just be given to you, not at a club like this. So it's over to Umar, the ball is in his court.

"The semi-final is a fantastic opportunity but just because he is the one of the number nines we have got and two are not available, it doesn't mean he is going to feature. You have to earn the right."

Gerrard is looking for a new striking solution for the Aberdeen contest after Morelos again failed to keep a lid on his temper.

The striker, who was sent off in the Europa League play-offs against Ufa after an outburst at the match officials, was booked by referee Bobby Madden for dissent during the last-eight victory over Ayr United.

It was his second caution of the competition after he was yellow carded in the last round against Ayr, ruling him out of the semi-final.

Speaking ahead of Sunday's trip to Livingston, Gerrard said: "I'll take responsibility for it because I played him, so if anyone's to blame it's me.

"He's the reason why we are in the semi-final. He scored a goal the other night, he got a hat-trick against Kilmarnock.

"My view hasn't changed on the player, I'm a big fan and I'm glad he's here."

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