Steven Gerrard's Rangers need to push Celtic, says Lee McCulloch

Steven Gerrard
Steven Gerrard has formally taken charge at Rangers

Fighting for the Premiership title and winning silverware has to be the aim for new Rangers manager Steven Gerrard, says ex-Ibrox captain Lee McCulloch.

However, McCulloch also says managing the expectations of fans will be a big challenge as Rangers attempt to cut the gap on Celtic.

Former England captain Gerrard started his job on Friday.

"A good season would be challenging Celtic all the way," McCulloch told BBC Scotland.

"Obviously winning would be brilliant, but if you don't it's got to be at least second best, and to bring some sort of silverware back to Ibrox.

"The expectation level of the fans, because they had the glory years for so many years apart from the last four and five, has been 'we've got to win'."

Gerrard, who watched England Under-21s' win over Qatar on Friday at the Toulon Tournament in France, won nine trophies as a player with Liverpool, including the Champions League in 2005, and was capped 114 times by England. He went into coaching with Liverpool's academy before agreeing to move to Glasgow.

He takes over from Graeme Murty, who left the manager's job three games before the end of last season.

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Frank Lampard says Steven Gerrard 'deserves his chance' at the Rangers job

Rangers finished third in the Scottish Premiership for a second year running, three points behind Aberdeen and 12 behind Celtic, who would go on to complete successive domestic Trebles.

McCulloch, who was signed by Walter Smith in 2007 and stayed at Ibrox until 2015, believes Gerrard will have an instant impact in the dressing room.

"As soon as he walks in they will be quiet," McCulloch said. "A little bit like a Walter Smith kind of character. Steven is an icon worldwide and he still has the presence at the moment because he's just retired.

"There shouldn't be one player in that dressing room not giving him respect."

"He needs to work with [director of football] Mark Allen and [assistant manager] Gary McAllister, and the players need to come in with a resale value in the next couple of years and really enhance the team and bridge the gap that's there with Celtic.

"Every Rangers fan will be thinking, 'we'll be attracting players now'. The board need to back that up by giving Steven money and the team need to mount a challenge."

Meanwhile, fitness coach Jordan Milson has joined Rangers as head of performance after leaving Liverpool.

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