Rangers boss Steven Gerrard opens up on ‘trash talk’ against Celtic after sideline clash with John Kennedy

Steven Gerrard was full of praise for his Rangers players

RANGERS manager Steven Gerrard and interim Celtic boss John Kennedy clashed on the Ibrox sideline today and the Light Blues blunderer admits “high stakes” lead to trash talk.
The two coaches met in the final phase of Gers’ 2-0 win over Celts in their Scottish Cup fourth round draw.


Rangers boss Gerrard and interim Celtic Kennedy blunder mingle with IbroxCredit: The Sun

The victory ended any hope the Hoops had of recouping their season with silverware after saying goodbye to ten in a row long ago.

And while the clock was lowering with the Light Blues in speed control after the penalty of Odsonne Edouard, the spirits are mounted on the sidelines.

Gerrard said of the spit, “Look, there’s a lot of trash talk out there.

“Sometimes we talk about trash on the sides.


John Kennedy and Steven Gerrard were separated by fourth official Kevin ClancyCredit: Reuters

“Sometimes it’s Celtic’s fault, sometimes it’s our fault.

“The emotions are high, there is a lot at stake.”

And while he felt emotions were rising high on the sideline, the Ibrox boss described his team’s performance as the opposite.

He said, “I think the word ‘calm’ sums up our performance today.

Steven Gerrard was full of praise for his Rangers playersCredit: The Sun

“We sometimes withstood some pressure, but we never panicked or twisted.

“We’ve come a long way since the first derby we played – the dressing room has come a long way.

“It’s not really important in terms of points in the Old Firm game, it’s about winning as many games as possible.

“There has certainly been a change in mentality when it comes to our entry into games.

Steven Davis scored Rangers' first goal at Ibrox8
Steven Davis scored Rangers’ first goal at IbroxCredit: The Sun

“We approach them with conviction and confidence. We know what to do.

“There were times when the good Celtic players opened up to us and we had to immerse ourselves in it.

“But overall the players delivered near our best and we got an important victory.

“I was surprised with the first goal and the athleticism of Steven Davis. I found it to be a superb finish.

Odsonne Edouard missed a penalty for Celtic8
Odsonne Edouard missed a penalty for CelticCredit: The Sun

“Winning with a clean sheet at home again shows how strong we are and where we’re going.”

The Rangers are now firmly focused on securing a league and Cup brace.

The Gers galloped to the title in early March and are still unbeaten in the Premiership.

The only downfall in their record is the Betfred Cup loss to St Mirren, but Gerrard takes responsibility and is eager to make up for that disappointment.

Steven Gerrard keen to make up for League Cup loss to St Mirren8
Steven Gerrard keen to make up for League Cup loss to St MirrenCredit: PA

And he insists his team respond to these skeptics every week now.

He said: “The mentality has been on top.

“We’ve been asked the last few years about mindset and consistency, and rightly so because sometimes we’ve failed.

“But this season so far there’s only St Mirren where you can be critical and that was on me.

The Rangers won the title in March and have been busy decorating Ibrox ever since8
The Rangers won the title in March and have been busy decorating Ibrox ever sinceCredit: PA

“From a league perspective, we won it in March, which is amazing.

“Now it’s about maintaining our standard levels and our performance levels for as long as possible and until we hope to be May 22nd.

“When I look at the group, the locker rooms and the bus, I have lots of hearts beating behind me, many in abundance.

“No one can doubt my players in this capacity when you talk about effort, heart, desire.

Steven Gerrard had a special word for kicking hero Allan McGregor8
Steven Gerrard had a special word for kicking hero Allan McGregorCredit: Reuters

“We have plenty of them.

“There is no point in having talent.

“You have to have good people, people who are ready to put their bodies on the line and that everything comes from the heart, passion and desire.

“It’s what these fans demand and deserve – and it’s my job to get people willing to give it to them.

“I thought we were really strong and we delivered under pressure again.

“If you want to beat Celtic you have to control Edouard and luckily in the 90 minutes we’ve done enough.

Gerrard also praised Allan McGregor, the keeper of the Gers hero who recently signed a contract extension and reimbursed the club by saving Edouard’s penalty.

Although he’s not too happy with the penalty award to begin with.

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Gerrard said, “How many times have we talked about the guy?

“He’s a great goalkeeper who offers great moments. Again, it was huge for us today.

“I don’t think it was a penalty, it was soft. “

Club legend Ally McCoist claimed ahead of the game that a big win today and winning the Double would set a milestone for next season, but Gerrard shied away from those thoughts.

He said: “There is still a lot of work to be done and we will respect every opponent we face.

“I think today was to put a marker for today.

“We delivered. We have shown again that we deserve to win, so that’s important.

“But next season will be different. There will be a lot of changes on the other side of the road and there will be changes here. So it will be a cool season.

Keep up to date with ALL the latest news and transfers on the Scottish Sun football page

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