Rangers: Archie Knox says Steven Gerrard needs major investment to catch Celtic

Archie Knox Walter Smith
Archie Knox was appointed Walter Smith's assistant at Rangers in 1991

Former Rangers assistant manager Archie Knox says new Ibrox boss Steven Gerrard needs major investment and a squad clearout to close the gap on Celtic.

Knox, who assisted Walter Smith during the 1990s, believes an overhaul is essential to enable Gerrard to get off to a strong start.

"The standard that is needed is to beat Celtic," Knox told BBC Scotland.

"When I was at Rangers that was always the target. That will always remain the target for Rangers."

Knox added: "Rangers are short in terms of catching up on Celtic with the level of player. His biggest task is how he turns it round and gets the players that he wants.

"Does he have that level of money to get whoever he wants to try and make that catch up on Celtic?

"He does need that big investment."

Steven Gerrard & Scott Brown
Rangers manager Steven Gerrard is tasked with wrestling the league title from Celtic captain Scott Brown's clutches

Gerrard has now officially started his term as Rangers manager after being appointed in May.

He won nine trophies as a player with Liverpool, including the Champions League, although he never won a league title despite coming close under now Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers in 2014.

The former midfielder, capped 114 times by England, joined the youth set-up at Anfield as a coach after rejecting an offer to become manager of MK Dons.

Knox says it is imperative that Gerrard gets off to a good start next season to mount a credible challenge and halt Celtic's dominance.

"He has to. I don't think there is any doubt about that," he said.

Archie Knox & Walter Smith
Archie Knox and Walter Smith celebrate winning the league title in 1994

"They have been behind right from the word go in recent seasons. It is important for him and important for the fans that whenever it comes to that first Old Firm game that he is level pegging with Celtic.

"If you lose one game at home with Rangers, or a couple of games, it turns out to be a disaster. So he has got to get off to a good start.

"It is getting the players that you need to carry out what you think is needed. That is the biggest task I think that faces him."

Knox was assistant to Sir Alex Ferguson at Aberdeen and Manchester United and was part of the Rangers set-up alongside manager Smith that equalled Celtic's record of nine league titles in a row.

Celtic are now chasing their eighth consecutive championship following last season's second successive domestic treble.

"He has to have this influx of players to get off to a good enough start to say, 'right, Rangers are going to be pushing Celtic, Aberdeen, Hearts and Hibs all the way this season'," Knox said.

Archie Knox
Archie Knox has a wealth of experience as an assistant at Rangers, Manchester United, Scotland and Everton

"They have fallen short in a number of seasons. If you ask 50,000 supporters they would all be in agreement that they are needing new faces at Ibrox.

"Everybody will be asking what funds does he have to bring in other players?

"I am not being derogatory to the players that are there, but they haven't really come up to the standard that is needed.

"He has got to decide if the lads he is going to bring in are better than what is already there. He needs a few in that category."

After retiring as a player, Gerrard took charge of Liverpool's under-18s side before being appointed to replace Graeme Murty as Rangers manager.

Despite Gerrard's inexperience in management, Knox believes he already has many of the attributes required to undertake the role.

"It is a big attractive manager to come in even although it is his first time in management," said the former Rangers, Manchester United, Scotland and Everton assistant.

Steven Gerrard
Archie Knox believes new Rangers manager Steven Gerrard has many of the qualities required for the role despite his inexperience

"The wealth of experience he has at both club and international level will stand him in good stead. Coming in and dealing with the players I don't think will be a problem.

"In terms of running the team he will be capable of doing that. He'll be capable of doing the organisation, the tactical part of it.

"He has heard it all from top, top managers. He will have taken that all on board.

"I think his name just walking into the dressing room will give him all the authority he needs. Problems will come if they are not doing well."

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