Rangers: Steven Gerrard hopes Alfredo Morelos not driven out

Alfredo Morelos was unable to fire Rangers to victory in Saturday's goalless draw with Aberdeen
Alfredo Morelos was unable to fire Rangers to victory in Saturday's goalless draw with Aberdeen
Scottish Premiership: Rangers v Hibernian
Venue: Ibrox Stadium Date: Wednesday, 5 February Kick-off: 19:45 GMT
Coverage: Live updates on Radio Scotland and the BBC Sport website & app

Rangers manager Steven Gerrard hopes the racial slurs Alfredo Morelos says he has been subjected to will not drive the striker out of Scottish football.

Morelos said he has experienced racism both on and off the pitch in Scotland and his manager says the situation should be a national embarrassment.

The Colombia forward has 28 goals in 37 games for Rangers this season and has been frequently linked with a move.

"He makes the league a lot more exciting, so I hope not," Gerrard said.

"I know he feels strongly about these issues. My advice to Alfredo is to continue to be strong - we're here for him if he needs that support - and to continue to do what he does best, which is scoring goals and making our supporters happy."

Gerrard has pledged to back any player subjected to abuse, and feels it reflects badly on Scotland that racism remains an issue, with Aberdeen defender Shay Logan having been targeted with slurs on social media on Sunday.

"We always support, on or off the pitch," Gerrard said. "Certainly if they are feeling they are suffering from abuse in the stands, we're always there 100 per cent for our players.

"And we're always there to support other players that maybe are on the end of it as well.

"It seems as if racism is still a problem, certainly in this country. I've been one who has been very vocal in terms of saying we all have to keep doing what we need to do to eradicate it, because it's bang out of order.

"That's not me just supporting my own players, that's across the board. It's very disappointing that we're talking about situations like this in this day and age. It's embarrassing really."

Rangers host Hibernian on Wednesday night after suffering another setback in the Scottish Premiership title race with a 0-0 draw at home to Aberdeen on Saturday.

It was the second time in a week Gerrard's team dropped points and leaves them seven points behind Celtic with a game in hand, but the manager is is urging his players to "stick together".

"We realise we're not in our best form but it's very important we don't listen to the outside noise because there's emotions there, there's people who are paid to give an opinion on how we're playing," he said.

"We'll keeping doing what we do and get back to our best quicker than people believe."

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