Steven Gerrard: Rangers boss is 'a new age manager' - McAuley

Gareth McAuley, Steven Gerrard and Kyle Lafferty at Rangers' training ground
Gareth McAuley spent a season under Steven Gerrard at Ibrox along with Kyle Lafferty

Former Northern Ireland defender Gareth McAuley says Steven Gerrard has rebuilt Rangers "from the inside out".

Gerrard made the move to Rangers in 2018 and the Ibrox outfit sit second in the Scottish Premiership, two points behind Celtic but with a game in hand.

"Steven is very good, but he's a new age manager," said McAuley, who played under Gerrard last season.

"He has put a whole lot of professionalism into things that, to be honest, the club were lacking."

Former Liverpool captain Gerrard guided Rangers to second in the table in his first season as a top-flight manager, albeit nine points off champions Celtic.

Gareth McAuley
McAuley (middle top) feels that Colombian forward Alfredo Morelos (top right) is "a loose cannon"

However, victory over their Glasgow rivals in the final game before the split this season has given Rangers momentum and McAuley feels that Gerrard's approach to management has helped to narrow the gap.

"Everything is measured and there is a lot of positivity, building players, building levels - he's working on it all the time," McAuley said on BBC Sport NI's Irish League Behaviour podcast.

"People might think he's a shouter or a bawler or up and at them, but he's not. He's very constructive in what he does.

"One of the things he spoke to me about when I came to the club was raising standards around the gym, on the training pitch. People would see how you eat, how you conduct yourself, that type of thing, he said.

"If they beat Ross County, they can go top of the league and they are then in a different position where they are in front. How's the mentality from there? That's the thing."

He's raw and he's a young boy

In his one year at Rangers before retirement, McAuley played alongside Alfredo Morelos and describes Colombian striker as "a loose cannon".

Morelos has netted 28 goals this season, but he has been sent off in two of his past three matches, including Rangers' Old Firm derby win over Neil Lennon's Celtic.

"As a defender, I know it would be easy to wind him up and get a reaction out of him," the 40-year-old added.

"In Scotland, a lot of the players want to wrestle and that suits him because he wants to get his back, turn, roll and get shots in.

"If he moved to the Premier League, players are cleverer, they make better decisions, they won't get into a fight with you. But he gets goals and the Rangers fans love him.

"He's raw and he's a young boy. He's a good player, but he could make himself better if he applied himself better. He has the potential and, if he trained with intensity every day, he could be even better.

"I think his goals in European competition will get him a move."