Calls for Celtic v Rangers to be scrapped ‘above my head’, says Steven Gerrard | Steven Gerrard

Steven Gerrard believes it is for others to determine whether the third Old Firm fixture of the season, scheduled for Sunday week, should be called off. The Rangers manager wants the game to be played as scheduled despite the mass gatherings that greeted the Ibrox club’s Scottish Premiership title victory being confirmed on Sunday.

Questions have been raised by senior Scottish politicians, including the first minister, about the viability of Rangers’ trip to Celtic Park on 21 Marchin the wake of scenes described as disgraceful by Police Scotland’s deputy chief constable, Malcolm Graham. Rangers are also due to host Celtic again before the season concludes.

“I’ll let those conversations continue with the powers that be,” said the Rangers manager. “That’s above my head at this football club. But I’ll continue to relay messages like I have previously. Let’s hope these games can go ahead.”

The likelihood is the fixtures will proceed but with strict security provisions.

Rangers have pointed towards comments made by Gerrard reinforcing pandemic safety parameters. The club themselves have, though, come under fierce criticism from politicians and Police Scotland for not issuing suitably strong messages asking fans not to gather and subsequently to go home.

Gerrard was considerably more comfortable speaking about Rangers’ Europa League last-16 trip to Slavia Prague on Thursday. The former Liverpool captain has urged his players to maintain their excellent form at home and abroad despite confirmation of a long-awaited championship. After their own weekend of celebration, the Rangers squad returned to training on Tuesday.

“We have got two incredible fixtures on the horizon in terms of the Europa League,” Gerrard said. “We want to go further than we did last year, we want to build on what we have already achieved in Europe this season which has been fantastic.

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“Then we have got a huge Old Firm game to look forward to and then the Scottish Cup begins and the [Premiership] post-split games … so many exciting games and challenges internally that we want to go and try and achieve. That is the way it is at Rangers. It is not about resting on your laurels and downing tools because you have achieved something so big.”

Gerrard refused to draw parallels between his first major honour as a manager and the multitude of achievements as completed when a player at Anfield. “I am on a different journey, I am on a different career path, I am at a different club,” he said. “So it’s not really about me from a personal point of view and me making up for previous highs or lows or comparing stuff. It is about Rangers. It is about achieving our first massive goal together. I don’t think it is fair to compare achievements.”

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