Steven Gerrard has his sights set on more silverware with Rangers as First Minister Nicola Sturgeon denounced the “infuriating” and “disgraceful” gatherings in Glasgow that greeted the club’s Scottish Premiership title triumph.
Gerrard celebrated winning his first managerial trophy on Sunday after Celtic’s goalless draw at Dundee United meant the Hoops were left 20 points adrift of their bitter rivals with six games in the season still to go.
While Gerrard expressed his pride at what his side have achieved, the former Liverpool captain is already looking ahead to Thursday’s Europa League last-16 first-leg showdown against Slavia Prague.
“It is very difficult to put into words right now,” he told the club’s website. “It has been an incredible journey we have been on and we deserve it. I’m on a real, emotional high and it has been a journey that is not finished.
“There is more to come and the next thing for me, when you win, it is always about what is next. We are in March and I need them to keep delivering until the end of the season.
“Glasgow Rangers is about winning and we all live under that pressure, and that responsibility, but it is about what is next and it is about me getting these players ready for what is next.”
Thousands of jubilant fans flouted the current lockdown to congregate outside Ibrox Stadium and at George Square, and Sturgeon warned the crowds could jeopardise plans to ease coronavirus restrictions.
Sturgeon tweeted: “Everyone has made so many sacrifices in the past year and seeing a minority risk our progress is infuriating and disgraceful.
“It is deeply unfair to the entire country, and the police have a hard enough job already. Please ask fans to go home RangersFC”
Having spent so long in the shadow of their bitter rivals following their relegation to the fourth tier in 2012 after financial collapse, Gers have now cantered to the title with six games to spare.
They will have the chance to rub salt into their neighbours’ wounds in two weeks’ time as they walk out at Celtic Park having already smashed the Hoops’ reign of dominance.
Gerrard added: “I am so proud of the players, they are the most important people inside the club. This has been a team effort and a collective effort, it is a monumental achievement and I am so proud to be the manager of that.”
Rangers chairman Douglas Park hailed an “absolutely unbelievable” achievement, adding on RangersTV: “We’ve achieved 55, we’ve won the league. I couldn’t be more happy for the club, the supporters and everyone.
“It’s been a hard, hard road getting there, but we’ve got there and obviously we want this to be the start of many.”
Managing director Stewart Robertson added: “The ups and downs we’ve endured over the last six years have been something else. We always had a plan, we always knew where we wanted to get and how we thought we could get there.
“A few twists and turns, but days like today make it all worthwhile. You can see the progress we’ve made. The key thing now is not to stop, we need to keep progressing. This is just a staging post for pushing on further.”
Rangers first-team coach Michael Beale paid tribute to former Light Blues boss Ally McCoist, who was manager when the club were relegated to the Third Division.
He said: “Ally leading us started the rise for the club. I think of people like him because they’re what make our club what it is. Well done to everyone that’s been part of it and let’s really celebrate this and then go for more.”
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