Steven Gerrard was all smiles in pictures that emerged from Rangers’ Friday training session, yet the manager was nowhere to be seen at the pre-match press conference.
— Rangers Football Club (@RangersFC) December 7, 2018
Instead, his able deputy, Gary McAllister, faced the media.
What does that tell us about the manager’s mindset heading into the weekend?
To me, it suggests he’s said all he needs to say. He pulled no punches after Wednesday night’s defeat, criticising the performance and ill-discipline of the side.
The manager added that the player’s need to respect the club who’s shirt they have the privilege of wearing.
He was clearly very irate that his side had meekly surrendered their unbeaten home run. But that was then, this is now. The point has been made, and now its time to lift the mood ahead of the trip to Dundee.
Gerrard had the option of sending McAllister out to face the same questions that he himself had already answered on Wednesday night, so he took it.
Clearly, the manager wants to have three points in the bag and preferably an incident free game under his belt before he next addresses the media.
It’s an understandable approach, from a man under constant scrutiny. He has done an excellent job so far, but harder times are yet to come.
If his side can get over the Aberdeen disappointment and return to winning ways, he will pass another early test.
Retreating from the media glare may be an astute ploy, until he has ticked that particular box.