Rangers: Gerrard will revive competition between Old Firm - Dick Advocaat

Dick Advocaat and John Barnes (third right) during an Old Firm game in Novemebr 1999
Dick Advocaat locked horns with Celtic's inexperienced manager John Barnes (third right) during his time at Rangers

Former Rangers manager Dick Advocaat says Steven Gerrard's arrival will lead to Rangers challenging Celtic.

Advocaat managed the Ibrox club between 1998 and 2001 and won the domestic treble in his first season.

And the Dutchman has backed Gerrard to make the side a force, despite his inexperience in management.

"Having Gerrard as manager, having that name involved, will definitely help bring players to Rangers, especially English players," said Advocaat.

"The difference when I arrived was that I had to change the whole team almost.

'He'll command respect in the dressing room'

"But Rangers didn't do that bad last season. OK, they finished third but they were not so many points behind Celtic. With some good players, experienced players, they can close the gap in my opinion.

"I'm certain that Gerrard will bring the competition back between Celtic and Rangers."

The former Netherlands manager took charge of Rangers just after they had missed out on 10 in a row, losing the title to Celtic on the final day of the 1997/98 season.

Gerrard's rebuilding has already begun, with goalkeeper Allan McGregor and midfielder Scott Arfield already signed on for next season.

Steven Gerrard in the Ibrox trophy room
Rangers will be Steven Gerrard's first job in management

Advocaat said: "He will walk straight into that dressing room and command respect.

"I spoke recently with Dirk Kuyt, who obviously played with him for a long time at Liverpool. He said in the dressing room, he was the man. He was involved in everything.

"He was centre of all the talking, asking what will we do next, how can we change? He was a real pro.

"I was really impressed by the appointment. It's a great name. Steven was a great football player, a legend in Liverpool.

"Now he's got the opportunity to be the manager of a big club, so it's very positive.

Former Rangers manager Dick Advocaat

"I don't worry about his experience. He has so much of it as a player and has always had great managers around him at Liverpool and the national team, so I don't think that will be a problem, not at all.

"I can only see the positives for Steven and for the players at the club."

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