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Seven years without a major trophy is too long for Rangers, says Steven Gerrard

Steven Gerrard (Andrew Milligan/PA Wire)
Steven Gerrard (Andrew Milligan/PA Wire)

STEVEN GERRARD is determined to provide pain relief for the Rangers fans.

The Ibrox boss believes a victory against Aberdeen today can help the club take another significant step forward on the road to recovery.

It’s now seven years since Rangers last won a major trophy. The intervening years saw supporters suffering as the club went into financial meltdown and toiled to come back as a major footballing force.

A win in today’s Betfred Cup semi-final will have the Light Blues one game away from silverware.

Lifting a major honour would be a huge moment for Gerrard – but he prefers to focus on what it would mean for those in and around the club.

He said: “We would hope it would be the catalyst for a different era.

“The club has been fragile in recent years, and from what I hear and have seen from afar, it has been very up and down over the last 12 months

“When you start something fresh, you try to start a journey.

“You hope that journey takes you to places you want to get to, places where the fans want to get to, and where the club belonged many years ago.”

Gerrard says he could sense a fragility that was holding the club back when he arrived.

“In the faces of Rangers fans, you could see a lot of pain,” he went on.

“They are craving good times and, thankfully, we have had some OK ones so far.

“I’m here for them. I don’t want to sound cheesy by saying that, but I’ve come to Rangers to win for Rangers.

“I respect the club and understand the club.

“Every decision I make, and every time I walk through the training ground or the stadium, it is for the fans and to get the good times back here.

“Seven years without a trophy is too long, but the circumstances are what they are.

“For a set of supporters like this – and a club of this size – it has been too long.

“We are on the right way, but nothing would be better than winning a semi-final and getting the chance to play in a final.

“It is still early. But, hopefully, if we get through this tough test at the weekend, we can start thinking big.”

Gerrard never got the chance to play at Hampden Park. His only experience of the famous ground was taking a quick look inside when he visited earlier in the year to help with work permit issues for a player.

It’s the place where two of Scotland’s three major trophies are handed out, and the Rangers boss doesn’t hesitate when asked if a run in Europe or winning a cup is more important.

He said: “Winning a trophy is more important all day long. People only remember winning trophies.”

Rangers’ success in the Europa League means Gerrard’s players have been facing a packed schedule of matches.

They played Spartak Moscow on Thursday night, while the Aberdeen players were resting.

Dons’ boss Derek McInnes said his players were fatigued when they faced the Light Blues on the opening game of the season after a European tie at Burnley.

Gerrard refuses to contemplate his men being tired this afternoon.

He said: “We will not use Thursday as an excuse – win, lose or draw.

“We never used it at Pittodrie and we never used it as an excuse at Pittodrie when we played 78 minutes with 10 men. We don’t focus on excuses round here.

“I wanted the team to look a certain way when I arrived. I didn’t want them to be bullied.

“To get that, you need players with the right profile and the right character.

“The tests are coming every three or four days, and if you don’t have guts and personality, you won’t go very far.

“The respect is there for Aberdeen but I still feel we have enough to get the job down.”