Steve Gerrard: 'High-profile' arrivals boost Scottish game, says Steve Clarke

Steve Clarke
Steve Clarke coached Steve Gerrard at Liverpool

Kilmarnock boss Steve Clarke insists the arrival of more high-profile footballing figures "can only be good for the game in Scotland."

Clarke worked with incoming Rangers manager Steven Gerrard during his time as a coach at Liverpool.

The role will be Gerrard's first in senior management, having been working with the Reds Under-18s.

"Every manager was a rookie one day," said Clarke, who takes his team to Ibrox on Saturday.

"He's a great player, really good person.

"I'd like to think the general image of Scottish football at the moment is quite positive. We have to work hard every year, every week, every month to try and keep that positivity around it.

"Hopefully you keep getting bigger names and more high-profile people in, which can only be good for the game in Scotland."

Steven Gerrard
Gerrard will be named Rangers' new manager on Friday

Clarke expressed his sympathy for Gerrard's predecessor, Graeme Murty, who was dismissed after Sunday's 5-0 Old Firm humiliation at the hands of Celtic.

"It's always disappointing when a good man loses his job," he said.

"I had a private conversation with Graeme yesterday and I think Graeme knows how I feel about the issue.

"I hope he can bounce back from this. He's young enough and has the attributes to do it.

"He just needs to take some time and reflect on what he's going to do next. I wish him well for the future."

Former Liverpool and England captain Gerrard, 37, joins several illustrious managers currently working in Scotland, including Clarke and ex-Reds boss, Brendan Rodgers, who leads champions Celtic.

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High profile names 'good for the game in Scotland', says Steve Clarke

Midfielder Gary Dicker believes the crop of big-name managers in the country is "maybe the best it's been in a long time."

He continued: "Since I've been alive anyway, I don't think I can remember that many top managers and big names being up here at once.

"You can see the buzz [Gerrard's prospective appointment] has given about, even down in England.

"It's a massive talking point and as I said probably a bit of positive that Rangers probably need at this time.

"As you can see sometimes you can change a club, with the gaffer coming in here [Clarke joining Kilmarnock] and that day at Partick Thistle when he was in the stand - I'm sure it gave everyone a lift."

Jason Cummings and Youssouf Mulumbu
Kilmarnock are unbeaten against Rangers in this season's Scottish Premiership

Kilmarnock are unbeaten against Rangers in their three Scottish Premiership meetings this term, earning two victories and a draw.

Clarke's side sit fifth in the league following last Saturday's thrilling 5-3 defeat by Hibernian, while former Killie assistant Jimmy Nicholl will take charge of Rangers with Jonatan Johansson for their final three games this term.

"Obviously we had a disappointing week last week," said manager Clarke.

"Rangers had a difficult week and you would expect a team of that calibre to have a reaction this weekend so we have to be on our guard for that."

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