Former Liverpool and England star Emile Heskey has claimed Rangers are “lucky” to have Steven Gerrard in charge.
The iconic former striker – who also turned out for Leicester, Aston Villa and Birmingham – played alongside Gerrard for club and country in the early 2000s.
But whilst he acknowledges it’s been a rocky few months, Heskey has urged the club to back the Merseyside legend and backed Gerrard to be a roaring success at Rangers.
“It’s too early to judge Stevie as a manager at this stage in his coaching career,” said Heskey [Daily Record].
“When Rangers were doing really well, they were at the height of their financial power. That’s not the case now.
“If we’re honest, a lot of the players who have joined Rangers in the last couple of years haven’t gone for the money – it’s because of the manager.
“That’s another reason for keeping him there. They’ve got something there with Stevie and probably don’t respect it enough.
“He’s managed to get young players in from Liverpool. And senior players are going up there because of Gerrard.
“They’re blessed to have him there. Especially when it comes to helping young lads forge careers in the game.
“He can educate and help them realise their potential. It’s great that he can do that now.
“He’s had a bit of criticism this season but this is Steven Gerrard. Rangers are lucky to have him.”
Cult English footballing hero Heskey turned out alongside Gerrard at Anfield for four seasons between 2000 and 2004.
Gerrard’s reputation and notorious hard-working attitude proceed him but it didn’t stop Heskey reiterating just how big a difference that will make to both Rangers and Gerrard’s managerial career.
For the powerful former forward, the Ibrox gaffer was built for being a manager and his expertise will be invaluable to restoring the club to former glories.
“Financially, it’s not the same as when they were winning lots of trophies and signing players I remember like Michael Mols back in the day,” said Heskey.
“That was an amazing team but they had to spend a lot of money. They don’t have that power.
“But with Stevie at the helm, you’re able to tap into a nucleus of players who just want to play for him.
“They need to give him more time. Nothing happens overnight and he was feeling the pressure recently.
“As a manager, you take all the criticism. You have to be able to combat that and take pressure off the players.
“And Stevie’s strong enough to take all that.
“Stevie was born to be a manager. He’s got so much to give back to the game.
“That’s the thing with top-class players. It’s just about identifying the areas where we can give back all the knowledge and experience we’ve picked up.
“As a player, having that five minutes with someone – who might even have been one of your idols – is priceless.”
Cult icon Emile Heskey had a commendable career, making over 700 appearances, scoring over 150 goals and playing for seven clubs.
Heskey also made 62 caps for the English national team, scoring seven goals and attending the 2002 and 2010 World Cup Finals.