Rangers manager Steven Gerrard has given veteran striker Jermain Defoe a ‘tailored programme’ to keep the 38-year-old at his best – and thinks his performance against Livingston at the weekend shows that it is working.

The veteran made his first start of the season against Livi and scored a stunning strike to remind everyone just how good he can be.

Rangers v Livingston - Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership
 (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Gerrard admits that he can’t expect his former team-mate to play every game so is now using a specially-designed programme to keep Defoe firing for as long as possible.

“Jermain’s had a few injuries of late when he’s been playing too much so he’s a player we’ll need to manage and bring in and out at the right time, Gerrard said. [RangersTV]

“He understands that and it was a good performance at the weekend with a world-class goal. We’ve finally got Jermain in the place this season where we’ve wanted him for a long time. He’s ready and I know he’s ready so that’s a fantastic place for me to be in to have Jermain Defoe fully-fit and ready to go.

“It doesn’t make sense to ask him to go Thursday-Sunday-Thursday-Sunday at his age and with the injuries he’s had so we’ve made a decision to give him a different programme, a tailored programme that is a bit different from the rest so he can put in performances like he did at the weekend.”

Defoe has an impressive 27 goals for Rangers since his move north and his strike against Livi was his 300th senior club goal in his career.

After turning 38 earlier this month, Defoe’s Gers contract is up at the end of the season so it’ll be interesting to see if Steven Gerrard offers him a new deal.

The veteran could look to get more involved in the coaching side of things and has a wealth of experience as a player to build on so could find himself with a long-term role as part of Gerrard’s backroom team.

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