Hearts 1-3 Rangers: Jermain Defoe may keep Alfredo Morelos out - Steven Gerrard

Rangers striker Jermain Defoe
Rangers striker Jermain Defoe opened the scoring against Hearts at Tynecastle

Rangers manager Steven Gerrard says suspended striker Alfredo Morelos may not return straight into the team after his ban due to Jermain Defoe's form.

The former England striker scored in Rangers' 3-1 win over Hearts, his seventh goal for the Ibrox club.

Morelos has one more suspension to serve, against Aberdeen on Sunday 28 April, and faces a fight for his place.

"There's a player playing with high confidence, creating chances and scoring goals," Gerrard said.

"There's a challenge there now. That's the way Rangers should be, we should have options - especially this area."

Morelos was suspended for four games after being sent off in last month's Old Firm defeat to Celtic, but Rangers have won all three games in his absence, scoring nine goals.

Defoe has notched twice in those three games, and also has seven assists to his name since joining Rangers on loan from Bournemouth in January.

"I don't pick on reputation and name," Gerrard said.

"I'm not surprised by Jermain's performance. He's got unbelievable quality and if you play a system that suits Jermain, he will get you goals.

"You can tell defenders are scared to get too close to him because of his quality. He's contributing whether it's goals or assists. He's got the number nine shirt at the moment, it'll be interesting how he performs from now until the end of the season."

Gerrard described Rangers' display in the win at Tynecastle as a "near-perfect performance", and he was praised his midfielder three - Glen Kamara, Ryan Jack and Steven Davis - in particular.

"The midfield complement each other very well," the Rangers manager said. "There is a bit of everything in there.

"You've got Davis' quality and range of passing. You've got Kamara, who's an absolute steal for £50,000, I can't believe we got him. He's going to be an incredible player if he keeps learning.

"And Jack has been my most consistent midfielder from the start of the season, I can't figure out why he doesn't get more Scotland caps."

Top Stories

Around Scottish sport