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Rangers boss Steven Gerrard hopes Connor Goldson has shut up critics

© SNSSteven Gerrard calls the shots.
Steven Gerrard calls the shots.

Connor Goldson has had spells where the Rangers fans have doubted him.

This morning, however, there’s no doubt he’s their hero after scoring twice to give the Ibrox side the points against Celtic.

Steven Gerrard admits the defender has made errors since arriving from Brighton – but he has never stopped backing his man.

“I have been delighted with Connor Goldson from day one,” said the Rangers manager.

“He has made some mistakes, but all players do, and that is when they need their manager. Connor has got my support.

“He has been excellent for me since he walked through the door.

“I thought he as outstanding yesterday – and not just his goals.

“His all-round leadership, his voice, and the line he set was really brave.”

Gerrard was unconcerned that Alfredo Morelos failed to score against Celtic yet again, or that Ryan Kent drew a blank.

He was seeing the positive in Goldson being the man who secured back-to-back wins at Celtic Park for the first time since 1995.

The Ibrox boss said: “I am happy with the hunger, and I am happy with the goals getting spread around the team.

“Last season it was Katic scoring, and he got a lot of credit for it.

“Connor deserves his moment.

“It is a big part of what we do. We want to be a threat on set pieces.

“At the same time, I am more proud of the players defending our box because Duffy and Ajer are threats.

“Celtic are a big powerful team, but we have protected Allan McGregor really well.”

© SNS
Connor Goldson beats Shane Duffy to net Rangers’ second

Gerrard maintained that facing a Celtic side without Edouard, Jullien, Christie, Forrest, Elhamed and Bitton made things no easier.

He added: “I don’t think you ever expect it to be straightforward when you come here.

“Celtic threw everything at us.

“You talk about people being missing, but we had Kemar Roofe sitting in the house, and we couldn’t start Joe Aribo. We have got our own issues. We have had issues for five or six weeks.

“Celtic were throwing quality players at us all the way through the game. Turnbull – £3.5m, Kilmala – £3.5m, Ajeti – £5m, and heir keeper is worth £5m.

“We haven’t played a Celtic team with issues. We have beaten a strong Celtic team.”
Goldson was delighted to be the unlikely scoring hero.

He said: “I was happy with the first one, and happier with the second one.

“At 1-0, anything can happen. At 2-0, it settled it down.

“I think after we scored first in the first-half, we defended a bit deep at times, and didn’t play how we did before the goal.

“After the second goal, I think you saw us at our best in the game, keeping the ball, and on the counter-attack we did really well.”

Ryan Jack had to be content with a short spell of action from the bench after playing three games with Scotland.

The midfielder said: “Obviously you can’t hide way from the fact the atmosphere is what makes the Old Firm games.

“The fans make the game even better, and even more special.

“But it is what it is, and as players now we just have to deal with whatever is thrown in front of us.

“We came here to get the job done, and we did that.

“I wouldn’t say we were relaxed, no. In these games, you have always got to be on edge, and you have got to be up for it.

“Fans or no fans, it was a massive three points for us, a chance to put a marker down, and thankfully we have done that.”