Former Rangers striker Kris Boyd thinks Steven Gerrard being absent for tomorrow’s Old Firm clash with Celtic at Ibrox would be a ‘sizeable blow’ for the Light Blues after he missed the midweek Europa League tie with Alashkert.
Gerrard is one of a number of Rangers personnel who missed the Europa League game after positive Covid tests saw Gerrard, James Tavernier, Jon McLaughlin and Calvin Bassey among those left at home as the squad flew out to Armenia.
While some may think anyone can stand on the touchline given much of the hard work is done during the week, Boyd insists the respect Gerrard commands from his Rangers players means things will “run a lot smoother” with the manager in his usual position.
“The loss of Gerrard would be a sizeable blow for Rangers,” Boyd told the Scottish Sun.
“People will turn round and tell you it shouldn’t matter who is on the touchline or in the dressing room before the match.
“Most of the preparations will already have been done during the week, and I get that.
“Yet there is a reason you have a boss and it is because things run a lot smoother when he is around. That is why football clubs have managers.
“Gerrard is such an imposing figure who commands the respect of his entire squad.
“Michael Beale, Tom Culshaw and Gary McAllister are all highly- regarded coaches who all have their own strengths.
“But they are not Steven Gerrard.”
Rangers and Celtic both go into Sunday’s game having lost in the league already this season and a second loss for either side would be a huge blow with the campaign only four games old.
After going undefeated against their bitter rivals last season with an aggregate on 10-2, the Old Firm momentum is on Rangers’ side.
However, Rangers will need to put in a better performance than has been seen of late if they are to take the three points and gain the upper hand in the title race.