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Aberdeen “raise their game” when playing Rangers, says Steven Gerrard

© SNSRangers manager Steven Gerrard
Rangers manager Steven Gerrard

Rangers boss Steven Gerrard reckons Aberdeen raise their game when they play the Light Blues.

Speaking at a press conference ahead of the Dons’ visit to Ibrox on Sunday, Gerrard admitted he felt they try harder against his side than other opponents.

Derek McInnes’ side have beaten Rangers on each of their three visits to Glasgow this season.

Gerrard said: “Aberdeen play different against Rangers. That’s what I’ve noticed. They certainly raise their game. It seems as if Rangers is their biggest game of the season.

“We’re fully expecting a very tough game, so we’ll have to be at it.

“Do they try harder against Rangers? That’s the way it looks on the eye. We watched them last week against Celtic and they never laid a finger on Celtic in the semi-final.

“They obviously come to play against Rangers and bring their A game. They’re very physical and they definitely lift their game against Rangers, that’s for sure.

“I’m not saying they don’t raise their game against Celtic but they have found their form definitely against Rangers. And having watched them against Celtic a few weeks ago it wasn’t the performance you expect from Aberdeen if you look at their performances against Rangers.”

Gerrard revealed that James Tavernier and Jermain Defoe are injury doubts for the match, and also confirmed he is looking to sign Motherwell youngster Jake Hastie.

Reports this week say the Ibrox club are set to announce the pre-contract signing of the Fir Park winger on a four-year deal.

And Gerrard said: “It’s no secret that there’s an interest there but until we get it complete, there’s nothing really to say on it.

“I’m not going to sit here and deny it because obviously it’s out there that there is an interest.”