Rangers don't need wholesale changes but need quality to match Celtic, says Steven Gerrard

Rangers manager Steven Gerrard is all smiles during training
Steven Gerrard was in good spirits as Rangers trained on Friday

Steven Gerrard says Rangers "don't need to" make "wholesale changes" in January but must add quality players to compete with Celtic and in Europe.

Rangers failed to qualify from their Europa League group following Thursday's 1-0 defeat by Rapid Vienna.

"It is quite clear that additions are needed to get out of groups, or push to challenge Celtic," the manager said.

"It's always important that we try to identify quality players and players who can move us to the next level."

January will be Gerrard's second transfer window as Rangers boss.

Asked whether he thought the club would back him in the transfer market again, he replied: "The board have been very supportive so far.

"We made wholesale changes in the summer, but the facts are we haven't spent a huge amount of money. A lot of them have been loans or frees.

"If there's an opportunity for us to bring a player or a couple of players in that will improve us and help the current players who are here, we will look to make that happen."

Rangers went to the top of the Scottish Premiership after a 2-1 win away to Hearts on 2 December but have since gone three games without a win, two of them defeats.

They now trail Celtic by two points, with the reigning champions also having a game in hand ahead of Rangers hosting Hamilton Academical on Sunday, when their city rivals travel to face Hibernian.

"I think, seven or eight days ago, we were in a fantastic place," Gerrard said. "The last two results in the league have been disappointing and our performances have been frustrating.

"When we were sitting top seven days ago, I said we would not be getting carried away and would remain humble and still had a lot of hard work to do - and that hasn't changed.

"But the Hamilton fixture becomes very important to us and it's very important the players understand that."

Gerrard nevertheless repeated his post-match praise of his players in going so far in Europe.

"The players have done the supporters and club very proud if you consider where the European adventure was 12 months ago," he added.

"You go out in the first qualifying round to a part-time team. Forward that on and you're going toe-to-toe with Villarreal, Spartak Moscow and Rapid Vienna who've all got more European experience than us over the past few years."

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