Steven Gerrard: Rangers manager confirms he's set to sign new deal

Gerrard's first final as a manager ended in League Cup defeat to Celtic on Sunday
Gerrard's first final as a manager ended in League Cup defeat to Celtic on Sunday
Europa League: Rangers v Young Boys
Venue: Ibrox Date: Thursday, 12 December Time: 20:00 GMT
Coverage: Follow live text commentary on the BBC Sport Scotland website and app.

Rangers manager Steven Gerrard has confirmed he is set to sign a new contract, with extended stays for Allan McGregor, Steven Davis and Jermain Defoe also "imminent".

Former Liverpool captain Gerrard took charge in May 2018 on a four-year deal.

His team, beaten 1-0 by Celtic in Sunday's Scottish League Cup final, can reach the Europa League 32 with a point against Young Boys on Thursday.

"It was a pretty simple decision," Gerrard said. "I'm happy here."

Gerrard left his role as Liverpool youth coach for his first job as a manager at Ibrox, steering the club to a runners-up Scottish Premiership finish and the Europa League group stage last season.

The Ibrox club are currently second in the league, two points behind behind Celtic, and Gerrard's new contract is expected to run until 2024.

"The club approached me a week to 10 days ago about a new deal," the 39-year-old said. "Talks have been pretty straightforward and positive.

"I'm very grateful for the opportunity to manage and lead this football club. I'm as hungry and determined to get the good days back here as I ever was."

New 12-month contracts for goalkeeper McGregor, 37, and 34-year-old midfielder Davis have also been agreed, according to Gerrard.

Both are in their second spell at Ibrox, with McGregor returning in July 2018 and Davis signing a year-long deal this summer after a six-month loan from Southampton.

Striker Defoe, who also arrived on loan in January, is poised to sign a pre-contract in January when his Bournemouth contract enters its final six months.

"Allan McGregor and Steven Davis' deals are imminent," Gerrard said. "They're all agreed. They are two players I want around on a year extension on top of this year.

"Jermain's is a bit different because he's obviously a Bournemouth's player until the end of the year. But it's a similar situation in that we want him to stay around."

Progress can 'change whole mood'

Morelos' second-half penalty was saved by Celtic keeper Forster
Alfredo Morelos' second-half penalty was saved by Fraser Forster

Rangers are aiming to bounce back quickly from the heartbreak of losing to 10-man Celtic in Gerrard's first final as a manager.

The Ibrox side dominated, but could not find a way past inspired goalkeeper Fraser Forster, and Gerrard insists European progress can dispel the gloom.

"We need to get back on it," he said. "Having analysed the performances and what the players gave me I am very proud of them.

"At a club like Rangers you have to take the rough with the smooth, we are trying to create a real humble squad. After a disappointment, yes, you need to heal but the best part of this game is the chance to change the whole mood around the club. We are ready to go.

"Our performances in Europe have been fantastic. We would always have taken this situation when we started our journey against St Joseph's, now we need to make sure we go and finish the job.

"I don't think a Rangers team has ever topped a European group. And if you think about where the club was at when we arrived, to potentially going through top, it is great for the club."

Gerrard has no concerns over the mindset of striker Alfredo Morelos, who missed a penalty in the Hampden defeat and was denied his first Old Firm goal by several fine saves from Forster.

"Alfredo has been phenomenal for this team, particularly in this competition," he said. "You expect pressure at a big club, people talking from the outside but what is important is what happens in the inside."

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