Steven Davis: Gerrard's praise as Northern Ireland skipper prepares for 300th Rangers game

Steven Davis battles against Steven Gerrard in a 2006 game between Aston Villa and Liverpool
Gerrard says his high regard for Davis from their days of competing against each other has only been increased by managing the 36-year-old

Steven Gerrard has heaped praise on Steven Davis as the Northern Ireland skipper prepares to make his 300th Rangers appearance in Sunday's Scottish Premiership game at Motherwell.

Gerrard's regard for someone he knew as a "wonderful footballer" has only been increased by managing the 36-year-old.

"When you work with somebody on a daily basis, you see how they go about their routine," said the Rangers manager.

"You see their focus and how low maintenance they are.

"The sacrifices they make to be the best version of themselves.

"Steven is really at the forefront of that, so in many ways he has surprised me but not as a footballer or the level I know he can play at because I knew that first hand from competing against him."

Gerrard added that the 124-time capped Davis was someone he watched "very, very closely for many, many years before I got the opportunity to work very closely with him".

"From a footballing point of view, I knew he was a top professional, a competitor and a wonderful footballer."

Davis is in his second spell at Ibrox, having won three league titles, two Scottish Cups, three League Cups and reached the Uefa Cup final when he first played for the Scottish Premiership outfit.

His form for Rangers this season has helped them take a huge 21-point lead over Old Firm rivals Celtic who were seeking an unprecedented 10th successive Scottish Premiership title.

The former Aston Villa, Fulham man and Southampton player is just one cap short of the all-time British international appearance record of 125 - held by former England keeper Peter Shilton - and is set to break that mark after committing to Northern Ireland's upcoming World Cup qualifying campaign which begins against Italy in March.

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