'Forget about title' - Gerrard despondent after draw

Updated / Saturday, 16 Feb 2019 19:01

Steven Gerrard was in despondent mood after Rangers were held by St. Johnstone

Steven Gerrard has told his Rangers side they can forget about ripping the title away from Celtic after their failure to fight off St Johnstone.

The Ibrox side could have put the pressure on Celtic ahead of their Sunday trip to Kilmarnock by cutting the champions' lead at the top to three points with victory over Tommy Wright's team.

But they now risk falling eight behind Brendan Rodgers' Hoops after a 0-0 home draw in which they appeared to have no idea how to cut open their Perth visitors.

Gerrard bemoaned a lack of "leadership" among his side and appeared to confess the championship is now Celtic's to lose.

"Right now forget titles and forget closing gaps, the reality is to perform like that across the board in front of 50,000, well there's your evidence...," he said.

"You don't need me to say this, that or the other.

"If you have a group of lads and they give you that when they've got the chance to close the gap to three points, when you have Aberdeen, Kilmarnock and the rest breathing down your neck, that's not what's required at Rangers when you've got the chance to close the gap. You're miles away from it."

Gers were without banned top scorer Alfredo Morelos while Scott Arfield and Ryan Jack missed out through injury.

Rangers have now slipped five points behind Celtic in the table

Jermain Defoe stepped in up front but Gerrard watched with despair as his side failed to play to the former England international's strengths.

The Light Blues had a late penalty appeal when the ball appeared to hit David Wotherspoon's hand but Gerrard was not interested in passing the blame to referee Steven McLean.

And asked if the rest of his squad had to step up and do more with Morelos confined to the sidelines, he replied: "Yeah - big time.

"I felt for Jermain. Balls were coming in to him in the air, his chest, they are bobbling in. There was no service. I never saw a slide pass, a decent cross, a decent combination. Anything I'd seen in previous days.

"The cop out would be to say there was no Morelos, no Arfield, no Jack, but I believe we picked a team with quality to beat St Johnstone if we play at an acceptable level. But it wasn't acceptable.

"We can't be relying on decisions, we need to be better as a team and perform so we aren't always talking about officials.

"We need to look at ourselves and admit it wasn't good enough."

While Rangers were short on inspiration, Saints stuck to Wright's rigid game plan and got their rewards.
They even came closest to snatching the win as they forced two good saves from Wes Foderingham before Blair Alston saw a lob hit the bar with 11 minutes left.

"I'm happy with a point," said Wright after watching his side end a run of five straight defeats. "I think with the chances we had we could have edged it.

"I thought Blair's chance was in all day. You thought it would drop in but it didn't. On another day with a bit of luck it could have been three points."