Rangers boss Steven Gerrard has sent a thinly veiled warning to Alfredo Morelos ahead of tonight’s Premiership clash against Hibernian, as quoted by the Scotsman.
The two sides face off at Ibrox with the Gers looking to get back to winning ways after yet another disappointing display against Aberdeen on Saturday.
Morelos is set to lead the line again after getting through his first 90 minutes of 2020 at the weekend, but after a tumultuous period off the field, his manager has asserted there’s no room for error on it.
“Other normal 23-year-olds on the street have a lot to deal with as well in life,” he said, as quoted by the Scotsman. “Alfredo is paid extremely well to remain focused and to continue to perform well for Rangers and that is what I expect and demand from him – that he focuses on his football and does everything he can to help his team-mates.”
“The suspension he served recently hasn’t been helpful to his friends in the team, to his club or to the supporters so he needs to remain focused and continue to do what he is paid extremely well to do.
“I am not available to comment on private stuff that happens between Alfredo and his wife and off the field stuff. I have spoken to him in terms of where he is at and where he is focused and he has assured me that he is fine and ready to play.”
There has been a lot of debate and controversy surround Morelos over the last number of weeks, but it’s clear that his manager doesn’t want any of it to be used as an excuse.
Any further dropped points at this stage would leave Rangers’ title bid all but over, rendering tonight’s game and all league clashes for the foreseeable future, must-win fixtures.
Morelos was the go-to man for goals over the first half of the season. He netted a remarkable 28 in all competitions, but since the return from the winter break, he is yet to score.
The goalscoring pressure shouldn’t all be on his shoulders, but the manager is right to demand more. The talisman’s three-game suspension undoubtedly hindered the team, especially for the trip to Hearts, while missed opportunities against Aberdeen proved costly at the weekend.
Gerrard needs his main man to keep his discipline and to get back firing tonight.