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STEVEN GERRARD urged Rangers to take out their Old Firm pain on Dundee this afternoon.
The Ibrox boss’s first taste of derby battle ended in defeat to Celtic as his former Liverpool mentor Brendan Rodgers came out on top.
It was another day to forget for the Light Blues as Celtic lapped up a dominant 1-0 Parkhead win.
But Gerrard now wants Gers to use their pent-up anguish to fuel a display against Neil McCann’s Dens Park strugglers as they aim to get back on track.
“It was a tough result to take, especially with the timing of it,” said Gerrard. “The last thing you want is a couple of weeks to debrief that game. After a setback you always want a game straight away to get it out of your system.
“But the international break has given us time to breathe and relax after a really hectic schedule. We’ve had some really valuable time on the training pitch to go over some things we found from the Old Firm game.
“The players should be bottling the hurt of that result in that fixture and go take it out on Dundee.
“That’s what good players do. They don’t like losing and what they do is go give the manager and fans a reaction.”
Having also dropped points at Pittodrie and Fir Park, Gers prepare to welcome the Dark Blues to Ibrox on the back of their worst league start in 29 years.
But Gerrard is determined to put that right over the next month.
He said: “The players and the squad have done extremely well so far and I have got a lot of praise for them getting Europa League qualification, which was brilliant.
“But for me now it’s about prioritising the league. We understand the Aberdeen result and last-minute goal against Motherwell but we won’t use them as excuses. Our points total at the minute is not acceptable and we need to really front up these next four league fixtures before the next international break and take maximum points.”
Gerrard will welcome Lassana Coulibaly back into his squad after a month out with a thigh strain, while new signing Eros Grezda could also feature against Dundee.
But Ryan Jack and Gareth McAuley are out after both picked up calf complaints while away with Scotland and Northern Ireland.
There was better news during the international break as Alfredo Morelos collected his first Colombian cap and Gerrard reckons the striker will grow from the experience.
“He deserves a lot of congratulations,” said Gerrard. “It’s a very tough squad to get into. They have some top forwards like Radamel Falcao, who spoke really highly about his application while he was away.
“Alfredo has come back in great shape, he’s smiling and I think he’s delighted to get the first cap out the way. Now let’s hope it’s the first of many.
“We’re hoping to benefit as he will have to play well and score goals here to get cap two, three, four and five.
“I remember my first cap being alongside guys like Alan Shearer, Tony Adams and Gareth Southgate — that’s gold dust when you’re a young lad. You can watch them closely, how they live their lives off the pitch, what they do in training, the standards they set for themselves.
“We hope Alfredo has watched all those top players in the Colombia squad closely.”
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